After Duke scored 23 runs in a doubleheader sweep Sunday against Gardner-Webb, the Blue Devils' pitching took center stage in their fifth straight win Tuesday night.

No. 9 Duke topped Liberty 5-2 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the eighth game in a row it has held an opponent to five or fewer runs. Bill Chillari retired the first nine batters he faced and cruised through four innings, and a four-run fourth inning gave the Blue Devils all the offense they needed.

"Bill Chillari did a great job setting the tone, really threw a ton of strikes early on," Duke head coach Chris Pollard said. "We had one walk against a team that’s really, really good at earning free offense. They’re amongst the best in the country at earning free offense, and we walked one, struck out 11—tremendous credit to our pitching staff."

The Blue Devils (36-11) opened the scoring in the bottom of the third when senior Jack Labosky hit a leadoff double down the left-field line and scored on a single by Chris Proctor, and Duke broke the game open an inning later.

Freshman Joey Loperfido kicked off the fourth inning with a double to left field, and junior Griffin Conine drove him in with a single to put the Blue Devils in front 2-0. Michael Smiciklas then lined a hit to right field that turned into an RBI triple when Brandon Rohrer lost the ball in the setting sun, letting it bounce straight past him and roll to the wall.

After two walks to load the bases and a pitching change, junior Jimmy Herron grounded a single into left field to plate another run. Chris Proctor then hit a sacrifice fly that D.J. Artis made a diving catch on in center field to prevent any further damage, though it still gave Duke a 5-0 advantage.

Liberty (26-21) jumped on the scoreboard in the sixth inning, notching a pair of runs off sophomore Graeme Stinson with the help of a hit batter and two singles. But with two runners on and the Blue Devils holding onto a 5-2 lead, Stinson caught Jonathan Embry looking at a knee-high slider to cap a seven-pitch at bat.

Bryce Jarvis, Ethan DeCaster and Labosky took care of the last three innings on the mound for Duke with only one runner reaching base. The Blue Devil pitching staff got the help of multiple impressive plays by Max Miller at second base—the senior captain still has not made an error in 44 starts this season.

"One of the big moments in the game was when they hit-and-ran in the eighth, tremendous play by Max," Pollard said. "To put it plain and simple, he is the best defensive player that I’ve ever coached in my 19 years as a head coach. He may be the best defender that I’ve been around in my 23 years of college baseball."

The Blue Devils will return to the DBAP for a marquee series against No. 3 North Carolina Friday through Sunday as the two teams battle for first place in the ACC's Coastal Division.

"We’re excited, but we also know that Carolina’s playing really well, and they’re playing as well as anybody in the country over the last month," Pollard said. "I told our guys I know they’re excited about this weekend, but it starts with having two good days of preparation, so we need to have a commitment to be where our feet are over the next two days."