BSB: Taylor homer helps Duke past Georgia Tech

Posted May 12

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— Sophomore center fielder Kennie Taylor’s two-run homer in the seventh lifted Duke to a 7-5 come-from-behind victory over Georgia Tech in the series opener Friday evening at Jack Coombs Field.

Duke (25-24, 10-15 ACC) and Georgia Tech (24-23, 9-16 ACC) traded leads through the first sixth innings, resulting in a 5-4 Yellow Jacket advantage heading to the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, Taylor ran a 1-0 pitch out of the yard to put Duke back on top and the Blue Devils extended the lead the following frame.

Graduate student Nick Hendrix (1-1) recorded the final out of the seventh to get Duke out of a jam and junior Jack Labosky pitched two scoreless innings in relief to pick up his sixth save of the season.

Taylor’s long ball was one of three hits for the Tampa, Fla., native. Overall, Taylor went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, two RBI, three runs and a stolen base.

Fellow sophomore outfielder Jimmy Herron also had three hits, posting a 3-for-5 outing with two RBI. Sophomore shortstop Zack Kone added two singles and two RBI.

Duke broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third. Taylor doubled, Kone walked and Jalen Phillips singled to load the bases before Chris Proctor lifted a sac fly to left field for the game’s opening tally.

Georgia Tech countered the follow frame with Brandt Stallings’ fourth home run of the season. Chase Murray singled for the second time in as many at bats and Stallings lifted a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall to put the Yellow Jackets up 2-1.

Kone’s two-out, two-run base hit in the fifth once again established a Duke lead, 3-2. A Herron two-out RBI single the following stanza created a 4-2 Blue Devil advantage.

The momentum swung in the Yellow Jackets’ favor to start the seventh. A one-out walk and a pair of infield singles ultimately allowed Georgia Tech to plate three. Hendrix assumed the mound and induced a fly ball to center, but Duke trailed 5-4 heading to the bottom half.

After two quick outs, Labosky drew the walk before Taylor’s home run.

Up 6-5, Duke tacked on an eighth-inning insurance tally on Herron’s RBI double to right center.

Duke and Georgia Tech take the field for game two of the series Saturday, May 13 at 1 p.m., on ACC Network Extra.


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