Happy Opening Day for College Baseball!
The Duke baseball team started their 2013 season with a bang and a victory over #15/#17 Florida at their home park in Gainesville. The Blue Devils won 4-3. Florida saw their 12-game winning streak against ACC teams come to an end. It was the first meeting between the two teams in 41 years.
Over 5,700 fans were in attendance to see Duke pull the upset.
Duke took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 4th inning on a Jordan Betts two-run homerun. After the Gators tied the game in the bottom of the 6th inning on a sac fly, the Blue Devils took the lead for good in the top of the 8th inning.
After Jeff Kremer walked to lead off the inning, Mike Rosenfeld tripled in the first run. After Chris Marconcini struck out and the Gators changed pitchers, Betts reached on a fielding error by second baseman Casey Turgeon. That scored Rosenfeld to give Duke the two-run lead.
That error proved large, as Florida scored a run in the bottom of the 8th inning on a failed pickoff attempt at first base.
The Blue Devils received a solid starting performance by Trent Swart, who allowed two runs on four hits and one walk while striking out four. He threw 85 pitches, 54 for strikes.
Robert Huber, who was penciled in to start Sunday’s finale, followed Swart with 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. Huber was the winning pitcher, as he allowed the tying run (which was unearned) on three hits and a walk. He threw 20 of his 33 pitches for strikes.
Andrew Istler picked up a save, as he set the Gators down in order in the bottom of the 9th inning. He came on in the 8th inning with runners at first and second base and got Vickash Ramjit to fly out to end the threat.
Rosenfeld, who is a team captain, went 3-for-5 and fell a homerun short of a cycle. The Blue Devils only collected seven hits, but four went for extra bases.
Duke chased Gators starter Jonathon Crawford after just 3.2 innings. He allowed two runs on three hits and one walk. Crawford threw 74 pitches, 48 for strikes.
The two teams meet again on Saturday afternoon, as Drew Van Orden will make his first start of the 2013 season against Florida freshman Tucker Simpson.