After Mother Nature pushed back the 2014 season opener for the Duke baseball team to Saturday, the Blue Devils won both games of their doubleheader against visiting Binghamton.
Duke took the first game, 7-3 behind the bat of third baseman Jordan Betts. He went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a walk. Duke took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Betts‘ bases-clearing triple. He drove in four runs overall.
Lefty ace Trent Swart allowed one run over five innings to pick up his first win of the season. He allowed four hits and walked two while striking out five. Drew Van Orden (who I thought would be the Sunday starter) followed in relief with a scoreless inning (two walks and one strikeout). Chris Kono (a transfer from Holy Cross) made his Blue Devils debut, but allowed two unearned runs over 1.2 innings (two walks and two strikeouts). Andrew Istler finished off Binghamton over the game’s final 1.1 innings (one hit and two strikeouts).
Duke collected just six hits in the victory, five of them coming from their 6-8 hitters.
For Binghamton shortstop John Howell went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
In Game 2, Duke won 5-1. The story of the second game was Michael Matuella, who was making his weekend rotation debut. He pitched five perfect innings while striking out nine. Unfortunately, Duke was only leading 1-0 and Binghamton tied the game in the sixth, so Matuella did not pick up the win.
Nick Hendrix allowed the lone run over two innings of work (one hit and a walk). Robert Huber followed with two scoreless innings of relief with five strikeouts.
All ten of Duke’s hits came from the 4-8 hitters. Chris Marconcini went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI while playing right field. Betts had another good game, going 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Reed Anthes caught the second game and went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Shortstop Kenny Koplove went 2-for-3 with a double.
In Sunday’s finale, James Marvel gets the start in his first ever weekend start for Duke.