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Duke clinches ACC 4 seed with win over FSU

Posted May 17

The Blue Devils celebrated a 3-2 win over North Carolina.

— The Duke baseball team closed out the regular season on a high-note, defeating No. 4 Florida State, 7-5, Saturday afternoon at Dick Howser Stadium.

A monumental win for the Blue Devils, today’s victory was not only Duke’s first in Tallahassee since 1994 but gave the program its 16th ACC win, tying the school record also set in 1994. In addition, the Blue Devils clinched the No. 4 seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament.

“It was an incredibly tough effort by our players,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “Trent Swart stepped up unbelievably. He pitched an incredible game. I thought we had a really good offensive approach. So many guys had really good at bats. Our guys just wanted it. They’ve had such a great year, they really wanted this win. It’s the first time our seniors have beaten Florida State. I’m incredibly proud of them. It was a great way to pick up your first win versus this club.”

Bolstered by nine walks and two hit batters, Duke (32-23, 16-14 ACC) capitalized on its opportunities to build a six-run lead by the sixth. Florida State (41-14, 21-9 ACC) scored two runs in both the seventh and ninth innings, but could not catch the Blue Devils in the end.

“We knew a few of the guys [Florida State] was bringing in had struggled with their command,” Pollard said. “We preached patience. We did a good job of using the hit by pitch. We were ready to capitalize on free offense.”

FSU starter Peter Miller (3-4) suffered the loss after allowing two runs on two hits and three walks in an inning of work. His counterpart, Duke southpaw Trent Swart (5-2), turned in the quality start in his longest outing of the season, covering eight complete innings. Aided by three 4-6-3 double plays, the Carlsbad, Calif., native scattered six hits and held Florida State to three runs.

After scoring five runs in the ninth the previous day, the Duke bats picked up right where they left off to start the series finale. Senior Jordan Betts walked following a Mark Lumpa base hit and an Andy Perez fielder’s choice to put two aboard for Chris Marconcini. Duke’s rightfielder lined his third double of the series and 12th of the season for the game’s first run. A productive at bat from Matt Berezo, who hit a groundball to the right side for his 16th RBI on the year, brought Betts home.

Base hits from Jose Brizuela and John Sansone coupled with a Justin Gonzalez walk loaded the bases with one out in the second. Danny De La Calle lifted a fly ball to right field, but Ryan Deitrich’s throw to the plate was just up the line allowing Brizuela to elude the tag of catcher Mike Rosenfeld. Swart did well to minimize the damage, inducing a Brett Knief pop up to first base for the final out.

Duke’s offense continued to roll in the third, tacking on three runs for a 5-1 advantage. Marconcini walked and scored on a Grant McCabe RBI single to answer FSU’s run the previous frame. Deitrich continued his strong weekend at the plate, blasting his seventh home run of the season and second of the series to put the Blue Devils up by four.

The Blue Devils capitalized on free offense in the fourth. Florida State loaded the bases with two walks and a hit batter before a run came home on a 4-6-3 double play to make it 6-1.

Swart found his groove in the middle innings, retiring seven straight batters from the third to the fifth. Lumpa doubled to start the sixth and Perez drove him in with an RBI single.

Florida State cut the margin to 7-3 in the bottom half on Gonzalez’s second home run of the season. A two-run shot to left, the homer was the first allowed by Swart since 2012.

Florida State made the game interesting in the bottom of the ninth. John Nogowski led off with a single off senior Robert Huber before a Brizuela fielder’s choice. Ben DeLuzio walked to put two aboard and John Sansone laced an RBI single to cut the lead to 7-4. A Gonzalez sacrifice fly trimmed it to 7-5 before Perez made a sensational play on a De La Calle grounder up the middle for the final out.

“I think everybody was a little nervous, but that’s what [Huber] does,” Pollard added. “He makes it a little exciting but he always gets it done. I’m proud of him, too.”

Next up, Duke heads to the ACC Tournament for the first time since 2009. The tournament runs May 20-25 at Newbridge Bank Park.

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  • modukev5saysbyebye May 17, 6:59 p.m.

    Well well well !!! Looky here

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
 
Half
SAC 54
MIL 57
 
2nd
GSW 32
OKC 40
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
 
1st OT
EVAN 75
OHIO 69
 
2nd
CSFU 30
CSDH 17
 
Half
ORST 48
DEP 28
 
2nd
PAC 39
NEV 21
 
2nd
USF 52
PORST 22
 
Half
IDAHO 49
WALLA 18
 
Half
UTST 20
CALST 18
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
1st Intermission
SJS 0
EDM 1
 
1st
LOS 0
STL 3
 
4th
JAC 21
TEN 13