Duke returned to Durham and doubly took care of business Wednesday.
Not only did the Blue Devils (22-10) trounce their non-conference opponent UNC-Greensboro (19-12) with a 10-0 win, but they also ended a five-game losing streak under the lights Thursday at Jack Coombs Field.
"Terrific game for us, the kind of game that we really needed," head coach Sean McNally said. "We'd lost five in a row and had a tough weekend up at BC. [The game] was kind of what I expected out of our guys, because they've been really resilient all year."
Duke gave solid performances on the mound, in the field, and at the plate to slowly but surely put the Spartans away over the course of the game.
Defensively, the Blue Devils committed only one error on the night, and their pitching staff combined for a collective two-hit shutout. Sophomore southpaw Christopher Manno (3-0) earned the win, allowing only one hit while striking out nine over five innings. Freshmen John Bunder and Ryan Knott came in for a combined three innings of hitless relief, and senior catcher-turned-pitcher Ron Causey finished off the game with a one-hit, one-inning performance.
"They all just did great-they pounded the zone, they threw multiple pitches for strikes," junior catcher Matt Williams said. "It was a pretty impressive performance and fun to catch for them."
At the plate, Duke scored early and often in an offensive outburst marked by opportune situational hitting and small ball. Sophomore Alex Hassan put the Blue Devils on the board in the second inning with a two-RBI double laced deep into the gap between left and centerfield. The Blue Devils notched two more runs in the fourth from a sacrifice fly by Willams, and a first and third double steal which drew the catcher's throw to second, allowing sophomore Gabriel Saade to squeak home from third. A six-run sixth inning put UNC-G away for good as Hassan, Williams and sophomore Ryan McCurdy ended the night with a pair of RBI's each. With the victory, the Blue Devils are back on track for their ACC series on the road against N.C. State this weekend.
"[UNC-G] was a big game for us because we played all three phases of the game well-we pitched well, hit well, and played defense well," Causey said. "I think that'll really give us a boost going into this weekend against N.C. State."
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