March 14, 2015
TECH STARTERS: Spingola/CF, Smith/1B, Johnson/RF, Murray/DH, Gonzalez/3B, Innis/LF, Bailey/2B, Pabst/C, Justus/SS, Pitts/SP.
Perez/2B, Zyla/RF, Rosenfeld, C, Perez/DH, Bellinger/1B, Labosky/3B, Phillips/LF, Dougherty/CF, Koplove/SS, Istler/SP.
Daniel Spinogla homered and A.J. Murray had a pair of extra-base hits, but Duke scored two first-inning runs and held on for a 6-3 win over Georgia Tech Saturday in Durham, N.C.
Tech trimmed the margin to 3-2 in the fourth and brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth but the Blue Devils evened the weekend series.
The Yellow Jackets snapped their four-game winning streak and slipped to 13-5 overall and 3-2 in the ACC, while Duke improved to 14-4, 2-3.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Duke opened the game with three consecutive singles and a walk to seize a quick 2-0 lead. Chris Perez’s RBI single made it 1-0 followed by a sac fly from Justin Bellinger.
Jalen Phillips’ RBI single gave the hosts their two-run lead back in the third at 3-1 and he followed with a two-run double in the seventh that made it 6-2.
Andrew Istler was strong for Duke, tossing 7.2 innings with six hits, three runs one walk and four strikeouts to earn the win (2-1).
Starting shortstop Kenny Koplove recorded the final four outs on the mound to nail down his fourth save.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
Matt Gonzalez drove in the Yellow Jackets’ first two runs with a ground out in the second and a single up the middle in the fourth that extended his hitting streak to six games.
Murray was the recipient of both of Gonzalez’s RBIs after his second-inning triple to the wall in right and his fourth-inning double to the right-field gap.
That was all Tech mustered offensively until Spingola launched his first homer of the year over the wall in deep right-center field that trimmed the deficit to 6-3.
Keenan Innis doubled and Wade Bailey singled with two outs in the ninth before Koplove induced a game-ending ground out.
Innis and Murray each had two of Tech’s eight hits.
Cole Pitts absorbed the loss (0-1) after allowing five hits and three runs with four walks and one strikeouts.
“They scored two in the first and two in the seventh and we just didn’t throw enough strikes in either inning, and we had some miscues defensively. We were trying to make great plays instead of taking the outs. Istler worked us over pretty good, so you have to credit him. He threw three pitches for strikes, he kept the ball down and they made all the plays behind him.”
— Head Coach Danny Hall
The rubber match of the series is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN3.