DURHAM, N.C. (ECU) – Rudy Maxell and Ethan Murray each collected two hits and drove in a run helping No. 24 Duke to a 7-2 win over No. 14 ECU Tuesday afternoon at the Durham Bulls Athletic Pack. With the win, the Blue Devils snap a 17-game losing streak at the hands of the Pirates and improve to 12-5 on the year while the Pirates fall to 12-6.
The Blue Devils didn’t take long in getting on the board scoring five runs on five hits in the bottom of the first frame for a 5-0 early advantage. With one out and the bases loaded, Erickson Nichols singled to right pushing across Kennie Taylor. Matt Mervis followed with an RBI fielder’s choice scoring Michael Rothenberg and Murray’s RBI shot through the left side allowed Maxwell to score. RJ Schreck’s two-RBI double to right center capped the frame as Mervis and Murray touched home.
Kyle Salley (1-0) earned the win in relief tossing 1.1 scoreless frames where he allowed a hit and struck out three. Starter Copper Stinson surrendered a pair of unearned runs on two hits, walked four, hit two batters and struck out two in 4.2 innings. Along with Salley, Hunter Davis (2.0 IP, 1 H, 2 Ks) and Thomas Girard (1.0 IP, 1 K) combined for 4.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Gavin Williams (1-2), who faced just nine batters, suffered the loss after being touched for five runs (all earned) on five hits with a strikeout. Jake Kuchmaner worked 5.2 frames in relief giving up a run (earned) on one hit with six punch outs and three walks. Evan Voliva allowed one run (earned) on three hits with two strikeouts and Ryder Giles worked the final two-thirds of an inning walking one batter.
ECU plated its first run of the game in the third cutting the lead to four, 5-1. Giles got things going when he was hit by a Stinson pitch to start the frame. Bryant Packard followed with an infield single and Turner Brown reached on a fielder’s choice while Giles scored on a throwing error from Nichols, who was trying to turn an inning-ending double play.
Alec Burleson’s second hit of the afternoon pushed across another run pulling ECU within three, 5-2. Giles reached after being hit for the second time in the contest, took second on Packard’s walk and third on Brown’s lineout to second. After Spencer Brickhouse drew a free pass and Duke went to the bullpen, Burleson sliced a single down the left field line easily scoring Giles.
Maxwell’s RBI single to right extended the Blue Devils lead to 6-2 in the seventh inning. With two away and Taylor standing on first, Maxwell drove a Voliva pitch to right field scoring Taylor from second base.
Duke added a late run in the eighth on Kyle Gallagher’s double to right center that plated Murray from second.
The Pirates managed just four hits getting a pair from Burleson, his team-leading ninth multi-hit game, and one each from Brickhouse and Packard. Giles reached base twice and scored both of ECU’s runs. Six of Duke’s starting nine tallied a hit and Schreck drove in a game-high two runs.
ECU continues its four-game road trip this weekend traveling to Maryland for a three-game set. First pitch of the series is slated for 6:30 p.m. (ET) at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.