Jordan Betts’ 2-run, 2-out homer in the bottom of the ninth lifted Duke to a 2-0 victory over Bucknell, the second straight win for the Blue Devils over the Bison.
Drew Van Orden pitched wonderfully for Duke, tossing eight-innings of one-hit ball, striking out 13 batters along the way. LF Andrew Istler (1-0) came in and pitched a perfect ninth inning to preserve the shutout.
Head coach Chris Pollard was very impressed with Orden’s performance (from GoDuke.com):
“It was an incredibly well-pitched game: one hit, one walk, 13 strikeouts,” Pollard said. “It was about as an impressive as [Trent] Swart’s outing last night. I think it’s an outing [Van Orden] can build off of. He was really, really good with his cutter. He used it to get himself out a number of jams. That pitch, when he has it working for him, can get a lot of soft contact. He got ground ball outs and he got a number of strikeouts as well.”
This was the second straight shutout for the Blue Devils’ pitching staff, as Trent Swart (1-0) pitched Duke to a 9-0 victory over Bucknell on Friday. Swart was every bit as spectacular as Orden. The sophomore left-hander tossed seven innings of two-hit, ten-strikeout baseball before turning it over to Dalton Brown and Sarkis Ohanian, who both pitched a perfect inning each to finish off the two-hitter.
While shutting down a team as poor as Bucknell is nothing to get too excited about, the pitching staff, specifically the rotation, has been loads of fun to watch so far this season. In case you didn’t keep count, the starters have combined to pitch 18 shutout innings, complete with 28 strikeouts, zero walks, and just eight hits allowed. That is impressive, regardless of what team you’re playing against.
With the win, the Blue Devils improved to 3-2 on the season while Bucknell fell to 0-5. Duke will look to complete the sweep at 12 pm (ET) tomorrow,