May 16, 2009
DURHAM, N.C. – Jake Lemmerman’s second hit of the game broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning and lifted Duke (34-22, 15-15 ACC) to a 5-3 win over No. 7 Georgia Tech (34-15-1, 17-10-1 ACC) Saturday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field.
Lemmerman sent the first pitch he saw off Tech reliever Kevin Jacob over the right field wall to help Duke to the series win over the Yellow Jackets on the final weekend of the regular season. Jacob walked Matt Williams to lead off the seventh inning, but retired the next two batters on a pop up and strikeout. Lemmerman, who entered the inning with just three hits on the weekend, then smacked his sixth home run of the season for the two go-ahead runs.
Lemmerman and Tim Sherlock led the Blue Devils with two hits apiece, while Dennis O’Grady (2-2) picked up his second win of the season by limiting Tech to two runs on five hits in 3-1/3 innings of relief work.
O’Grady ran into trouble in the ninth inning after Jeff Rowland and Chris House both reached on two-out singles, but closer Michael Ness picked up the save when centerfielder Will Piwnica-Worms ended the game by making a leaping catch against the centerfield wall on a long fly ball by Luke Murton.
House had two of Tech’s seven hits in the game.
Matt Skole smacked his 15th home run of the season to give the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but Duke tied the game in the bottom of the third on an RBI double by Matt Williams.
Skole’s round-tripper gave the Jackets 100 home runs for the season, and only three other Tech teams (1987, 1988, 1998) have eclipsed the century mark in the program’s 105-year history. The Yellow Jackets captured the ACC title in 1987 and 1988.
Duke loaded the bases in the fourth inning to chase Tech starter Jed Bradley from the game. Patrick Long came on to force Sherlock into a double play, plating the Blue Devils’ second run of the contest, and Gabriel Saade followed with an RBI single to put Duke ahead 3-1 before Ryan McCurdy ended the inning with a fly out.
All three runs belonged to Bradley, who yielded just four hits in his three-plus innings of work. He also issued two walks and struck out three Blue Devil batters, but did not figure into the decision.
Meanwhile, Blue Devil starter Eric Pfisterer cruised through 5-1/3 innings before being lifted with one out in the sixth. Making just his sixth start of the season, Pfisterer yielded the Skole home run but held Tech to only two hits while walking five and striking out five others.
Mark Pope followed Long’s scoreless inning by holding the Blue Devils off the scoreboard in the fifth, and the Yellow Jacket right hander worked into the sixth before turning the ball over to Jacob.
After being held to one run on three hits through the first six innings, Tech struck for two runs on two hits in the seventh behind a two-run homer from Luke Murton – his 17th of the season. Tech’s 101st homer of the year tied the game at 3-3, but the score wouldn’t remain even for long.
Jacob (2-2) suffered the loss despite striking out four Duke batters in 2-2/3 innings. The Blue Devils recorded just three hits against the Tech right-hander, who also walked one.
The pairings and seeds for the 2009 ACC Baseball Championship will be announced by the conference office before 5 p.m. Sunday. Information on Tech’s schedule, pairings, and ticket information will be available at Ramblinwreck.com.