Duke wakes up bats to top No. 11 North Carolina 9-2 in series finale
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Duke received contributions up and down the lineup, including an outstanding pitching performance by Bailey Clark and career-high five RBI from Justin Bellinger to upend No. 11 North Carolina 9-2 in the series finale Sunday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium.
North Carolina won the first two games of the series.
Clark (2-0) registered his third consecutive quality start, tying his career high with eight innings pitched, fanning six. He limited UNC (10-4, 2-1 ACC) to two runs, just one earned, on four hits. Clark allowed one hit and one walk after the fourth, retiring nine consecutive Tar Heels at one point.
Clark has yielded just two earned runs in his past 23.0 innings of work, good for a 0.78 ERA.
After scoring three runs in the first two games, Duke’s offense broke out for nine runs on 12 hits. Eight of the Blue Devils’ 12 hits came with two outs, while Duke (11-3, 1-2 ACC) was also 6 of 11 with runners in scoring position.
Freshman Justin Bellinger and redshirt senior Mike Rosenfeld tallied three hits apiece to lead the Blue Devils.
Bellinger finished the game with a career-high five RBI, becoming the first Blue Devil to drive in five since Andy Perez on March 23, 2013 at Clemson. Bellinger knocked an RBI single in the second, then lined a two-out, two-run double as part of a four-run fourth. He added a two-run, two-out single in the seventh, which bolstered Duke’s lead to 9-1.
Rosenfeld registered three singles in the 12th three-hit game of his career. He started the scoring with an RBI base hit in the second before adding singles in both the third and fifth frames. For the weekend, Rosenfeld went 5-of-10 at the plate with three RBI and two runs scored.
Rosenfeld and Bellinger both drove in a run in the second to give Duke a 2-0 lead. Uncharacteristic Duke miscues in the bottom half threatened the Blue Devil advantage, but Clark pitched well to limit UNC to just one unearned run. UNC’s Alex Raburn legged out an infield single for North Carolina’s only hit of the frame. Three consecutive Duke errors allowed Raburn to score before Clark got a fly ball and grounder to second to close the inning.
Duke broke the game open with a four-run fourth thanks to two-out doubles from Bellinger and freshman Peter Zyla. Zyla delivered his first career two-bagger in a crucial spot, roping a 3-2 pitch into the right centerfield gap to score Evan Dougherty and Jack Labosky. A batter later, Bellinger followed suit and sent a two-run double down the left field line.
Perez manufactured a run in the fourth to help Duke extend its lead. The second baseman led off the inning with a single, stole second and swiped third. He ultimately came home on a failed pickoff attempt at first. The two stolen bases moved Perez into a tie for fifth in school history (57).
The margin increased to 9-1 on Bellinger’s two-run single in the seventh, which plated Dougherty and Labosky.
The Tar Heels’ Zack Gahagan lifted a solo home run to left in the seventh, the only hit allowed by Clark after the fourth inning.
UNC starter A.J. Bogucki (0-1) took the loss. He allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits in just 1.2 innings of work. The Tar Heels used eight pitchers in total on Sunday.