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Duke defeats Maryland-Eastern Shore, 11-8

Posted Friday, February 11, 2005

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Blue Devils pound out 14 hits to open three-game series

Durham, N.C. – Adam Murray drove in three runs and scored two more as Duke topped Maryland-Eastern Shore by an 11-8 score at Jack Coombs Field. With the win, the Blue Devils improved to 2-1 on the young season, while the Fighting Hawks dropped to 0-3. Senior right-hander Greg Burke picked up his second win of the year.

The Blue Devils threatened to score early, loading the bases with no outs in the first, but after Eric Baumann struck out swinging, Bryan Smith popped up to short and Corey Whiting was retired on a nifty play by pitcher Sean Davis, snuffing out the rally.

Leading off the third inning, Adam Murray was hit by a pitch for the second time in as many plate appearances and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Javier Socorro drew a walk, Baumann went down swinging and Smith popped up to short. With two down, Whiting smacked a single to right-center, scoring Murray and sending Socorro to third. Whiting then stole second and when the catcher’s throw skipped into the outfield, he advanced to third and Socorro crossed the plate. A Jimmy Gallagher single plated Whiting and Duke had a 3-0 lead.

The Hawks got one back in the fourth when Justin Hoban scored on an error by shortstop Brett Bartles, but in the Duke half of the inning, the Blue Devils went back to work scoring runs. Freshman third baseman Kyle Kreick led off with a double down the left-field line and Senterrio Landrum followed with a perfect bunt single up the third-baseline and then stole second to put two men in scoring position with no outs. Murray knocked a single into right, plating two, advanced to second on a wild pitch and reached third on Socorro’s single, chasing Davis from the game. After Socorro stole second and pinch-hitter Cody Wheeler drew a walk, Bryan Smith drove in Murray with a sacrifice fly to right. Socorro then stole third and scored on Whiting’s single before Gallagher grounded into the inning-ending double play.

Each team picked up a run in the fifth and after a two-run double by freshman Ron Causey in the sixth, Duke looked to be in the driver’s seat with a 10-2 lead. Sean O’Brien came on to pitch for Duke and struck out the first hitter before a single, an error by Kreick and an infield hit loaded the bases. After a walk forced in a run, Whiting misplayed a fly ball in right off the bat of Brendan McCabe, who wound up on third as three runs crossed the plate, making the score 10-6.

Duke picked up another run in the bottom of the seventh and freshman Dale Longfellow pitched a scoreless eighth in his collegiate debut. Tony Bajoczky came on to pitch the ninth and walked Eric Gaines, who then was picked off by Causey after stealing second. After a walk, McCabe cracked a two-run homer over the wall in right-center. Bajoczky got the next two hitters and Duke held on for the 11-8 win.

“There are no bad wins, but there are ugly ones,” said Duke Head Coach Bill Hillier. “We made three errors on the infield and one in the outfield. I’m glad we finally started swinging it a little bit, but we have to put teams away when we have the chance. But on the positive side, in years past, if we had played like that, we would’ve lost.”

Duke and UMES will be back in action tomorrow at 1 p.m. Sophomore righty Danny Otero (0-1, 0.00 ERA) will face UMES righty Daniel Sterling (0-1, 15.00 ERA).

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Duke defeats Maryland-Eastern Shore, 11-8
Senior right-hander Greg Burke
photo by Gene Galin