By Ty Parker
DURHAM, N.C. — The No.16 Texas Tech baseball team closed its extended stay east of the Mississippi with a 13-6 loss at Duke on Tuesday from Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
In a rematch of the 2018 Lubbock Super Regional, the Blue Devils (21-16, 8-10 ACC) reversed their fortunes and came out on the winning side Tuesday behind a 14-hit night. Five Blue Devils recorded multi-hit games with Taylor Kennie and Chris Crabtree combining for seven RBI.
Senior Cameron Warren led the Red Raiders (23-12, 6-6 Big 12) at the plate with a 2-for-3 effort. He recorded an RBI in the eighth slashing a single to right that scored sophomore Gabe Holt from second. Warren added a single in the fourth and a walk in the second. Junior infielder Josh Jung recorded two RBI on the day with a sacrifice fly in the fifth and a single through the left side in the ninth.
Tech had its opportunity for big innings early in the contest but struggled to come up with a big hit with runners on base. The first three batters reached in the second to load the bases with no outs, but a double play and strikeout allowed Duke to surrender just one run and maintain a 2-1 lead.
Another double play erased a threat in the third as sophomores Dylan Neuse got a base hit and Cole Stilwell walked, but Duke turned another double play and got a grounder to first to escape the frame unscathed.
Leading 3-1 in the fourth, Duke opened up the game with three runs in the inning, doing all of its damage with two outs. With two men on, a slow infield single loaded the bases and a two-out double to deep right plated all three runs to make it 6-1.
Tech had a chance to respond in the fifth when sophomore Braxton Fulford singled and Neuse reached on an error by the third baseman to put the duo at second and third. A wild pitch allowed Fulford to score, and then Stilwell walked to put runners on the corners with no outs for the heart of the lineup. Holt struck out looking, Jung hit the sac fly to right and junior Brian Klein grounded out to the pitcher to quickly end the threat and keep Duke on top 6-3.
The Blue Devils doubled their lead with three runs in the bottom of the seventh before putting the game out of reach with a four-spot in the eighth.
Tech starter Bryce Bonnin (3-1) gave up six runs on five hits over four innings in the loss. Freshman Mason Montgomery came on in relief to pitch two innings before four more pitchers were used to close it out.
Duke’s Adam Laskey went three innings in the start, and reliever Matt Dockman (2.0) received the win with two innings of no-hit ball that allowed Duke to extend its lead to 9-3 following a three-run seventh.
The Red Raiders return to Lubbock for a 10-game home stand, starting Thursday against No. 18 Baylor (25-10, 8-3). It’s ‘80’s Music Night’ at Rip Griffin Park with first pitch at 6:30 p.m. on FOX Sports Southwest.