DURHAM, N.C. – Junior right-hander Bryce Jarvis made history on Friday afternoon, tossing the program's first-ever perfect game as No. 16 Duke claimed an 8-0 win over Cornell at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. With the win, the Blue Devils improve their overall record to 4-1, while the Big Red fall to 0-1 on the season.
Jarvis (1-1) retired all 27 batters he faced on the afternoon, registering a career-high 15 strikeouts, 10 groundouts and two fly outs in his perfect outing. The Franklin, Tenn., native punched out at least one batter in eight of his nine frames, while managing to work in just one three-ball count across 94 pitches the entire afternoon.
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"It was a special outing for Bryce (Jarvis)," said head coach Chris Pollard. "There's a bit of irony in all of this because he was on the wrong side of the Kumar Rocker no-hitter last year. For Bryce to have that ballgame tonight, I'm so proud of him. We said starting in the seventh, that if a baserunner got on, he was going to be out of the game because we wanted to keep his pitch count low. He was super efficient, throwing only 94 pitches over nine innings. It's hard to strike out 15 guys in only 94 pitches, so it was a special performance."
The performance marked just the 31st perfect game in NCAA Division I history, and first since Jake Kuchmaner's perfect outing on Mar. 17, 2019. The outing also marked the seventh no-hitter in Duke history, and first since the Blue Devils' combined no-hit effort over Penn State last season on Mar. 1, 2019.
"This was the best that I've felt in the bullpen in a long time," said Jarvis. "My mindset was to go out there and control what I can control. Once the ball leaves my hand, there's nothing that I can do about it. I have to trust that my defense is going to make a play if they put it in play. After the pitch leaves my hand, it's on to the next one."
PERFECTION 🤩@BryceJarvis28 | #GoDuke 🔵😈⚾️ pic.twitter.com/tv8iQwIlUn— Duke Baseball (@DukeBASE) February 21, 2020
The Blue Devils scored all eight of their runs across the fourth and fifth innings, with three runs in the fourth and five in the fifth. Duke led off the fourth with back-to-back singles from junior Michael Rothenberg and senior Matt Mervis. After senior Chase Creek reached on an error to load the bases, junior Chris Crabtree brought across the game's first run with a sacrifice fly to right field before Mervis was thrown out at third base in a tag attempt.
The fourth inning continued as sophomore Rudy Maxwell netted his first triple of the season to bring home one run, before senior Erikson Nichols plated the final run of the inning with a single up the middle to make it a 3-0 contest after four full.
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With two down in the fifth, Rothenberg drew a four-pitch walk before Mervis lined a double to center field to place runners on second and third. After Cheek reached on a second walk in the inning, Crabtree sent a high pop-up to the Cornell third baseman that was dropped, allowing two runs to score.
One batter later, Maxwell registered his second extra-base hit of the night with a RBI double to left center to plate a pair. Freshman Grant Norris capped the inning's scoring with a RBI single to right to cross one run and set the score at 8-0, the eventual final.
Duke returns to the diamond on Saturday afternoon, as the Blue Devils look to secure the series win over the Big Red. The matchup is set for a 1 p.m. first pitch, with action airing live on ACC Network Extra.