ATHENS, Ga.—A day after extending Duke's season with a bases-clearing go-ahead double in the ninth inning, freshman Chris Crabtree continued his star turn with a dazzling encore.

Crabtree smashed two home runs in his first career start at designated hitter to lead No. 2 seed Duke to a 15-6 victory against third-seeded Troy at Foley Field in the NCAA tournament’s Athens Regional and keep the Blue Devils' season alive another day. Despite coming to the plate just 15 times in the regular season with four hits, Crabtree is 7-for-9 in Duke's last two games with the team on the brink of elimination, hitting to all fields with power and fighting off tough two-strike pitches in several at-bats.

“He’s committed to continuing to work instead of getting frustrated like some guys might do,” Blue Devil head coach Chris Pollard said. “On a veteran team like this where you don’t have freshmen that play a lot, it’s difficult because it’s the first time in their careers, the first time in their lives as a baseball player when they haven’t played, the first time they haven’t been the best player on a team they’ve been on."

“He’s shown us that he’s capable of stepping there and having big at-bats. What he’s done over the last two days is legendary stuff.”

Duke fell behind by multiple runs without recording an out for the second straight game, as the Trojans' first three batters lined base hits into the outfield off Adam Laskey. The Blue Devils' sophomore starter did not make it through the first inning and gave way to Ethan DeCaster with two outs and Duke already staring at a 4-0 deficit.

This time, the Blue Devils did not wait until the final third of the game to start their comeback after a dramatic rally from an 8-1 deficit Saturday against Campbell. Junior slugger Griffin Conine led off the top of the second with a double, snapping an 0-for-9 slump to start the regional, and Max Miller singled him home with two outs before Crabtree hit a towering shot that carried over the right-field wall to cut the deficit to one.

“It’s just something we train for all year,” Crabtree said. “Every day is an opportunity to get in the game, so I never take myself out of that [mindset] and I’ve been ready all year long.”

Troy answered with a single run in the second thanks to three two-out singles, but Duke's deluge kept coming. Three singles, two hit batters, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly helped the Blue Devils manufacture four runs to take a 7-5 lead in the top of the fourth.

Once again, Duke piled it on in the last three innings to extinguish any hopes of a Trojan comeback. When Crabtree came to the plate in the top of the seventh, he fell into a quick 0-2 hole. Pollard emerged from the dugout to chat with him briefly, primarily just to give on-deck hitter Jack Labosky time to prepare for his at-bat since he had been in the bullpen. Crabtree then belted another deep two-run home run to the opposite field to ensure the senior closer would not need to pitch.

“I told Chris to just try to take it out of the mitt there and have a left-center field approach, meaning see the ball a little bit deeper because he was getting a steady diet of off-speed,” Pollard said. “But that wasn’t anything I said. That was him being a great competitor and making a middle-of-the-at-bat adjustment.”

Crabtree had another two-strike RBI with a single in the eighth inning after fouling off four straight pitches, but he wasn’t the only Blue Devil to do damage at the plate. Kennie Taylor lined doubles into both gaps with stitches in his eyebrow after an outfield collision Saturday, Conine finished the game a homer shy of the cycle and leadoff man Jimmy Herron contributed an RBI triple, as Duke went 22-of-44 as a team.

“We had a lot of poise and I think we learned a lot from last night in terms of our ability to have an answer,” Pollard said. “I thought our offensive approach today was probably the best it’s been all season, at any point.”

DeCaster and freshman Bryce Jarvis shut Troy down on the mound while the Blue Devil offense did its work and got the final 25 outs of the game. Jarvis retired all 12 hitters he faced in four innings and struck out eight on his way to the save.

The Blue Devils will return to the field Monday afternoon at 1 for a showdown with top-seeded Georgia, which won its first two games of the weekend and will be well-rested. If Duke wins, it will then have to beat the Bulldogs again in the second game of a doubleheader to win the double-elimination regional and advance to a super regional next weekend at Texas Tech.

Pollard said DeCaster and Jarvis will be unavailable, but anybody else on Duke’s pitching staff could take the mound.

“It’ll be all hands on deck and you’ll likely see a lot of arms, but we have a track record of doing that in the midweek,” Pollard said. “That’s not uncommon for us and our guys are comfortable in that setting, so I think we’re going to get really good results with that.”