DURHAM, N.C. – The top-ranked Miami Hurricanes won their eighth straight ACC contest and 12th straight game overall Friday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, as they beat host Duke 14-2 in the series opener.
Senior lefthander Thomas Woodrey settled down after a rocky few innings to deliver a strong outing for the Hurricanes, who won for the 23rd time in their last 25 contests.
Woodrey, who struggled to find the strike zone early and surrendered a pair of runs (one earned) in the second inning, outlasted Duke ace righthander Bailey Clark in his third straight quality start.
The southpaw would not allow a run after the second, and scattered six hits over a 95-pitch, six-inning performance.
The Hurricanes (28-4, 12-2 ACC) needed a little more than three innings to chase Clark, who surrendered four runs on four hits and three walks before being pulled.
Miami would add seven insurance runs in the ninth to blow the game open late.
Juniors Willie Abreu (3-for-5, two doubles, two RBI) and Johnny Ruiz (2-for-2, four RBI, four walks) paced the offensive attack, which tagged eight Duke pitchers for 12 hits and drew 11 walks.
An RBI single from Abreu off Clark opened the scoring in favor of the visitors in the top of the second. Ruiz, who drew a walk from Clark earlier in the inning, raced home from second on the opposite-field hit from Abreu.
The Blue Devils (19-16, 6-10 ACC) wasted little time in responding, scoring two runs in the home half of the inning. With two runners in scoring position, Duke left fielder Michael Smiciklas connected on a single up the middle that put the hosts ahead 2-1.
Duke threatened to build on its lead in the third after back-to-back singles to open the inning put runners on the corners with no outs. But redshirt junior Christopher Barr made a quick reaction on a lineout at first, stepping on first to complete a double play.
Woodrey (4-2) then induced a groundout from Duke cleanup hitter Jack Labosky to end the inning. He would strand a pair of runners in both the fourth and fifth, and induced an inning-ending double play in the sixth that also ended his outing.
Miami chased Clark (3-4) in the fourth. The first four batters of the inning reached base, resulting in an early pitching change for the Blue Devils. A double from Jacob Heyward moved Zack Collins (walk) to third, and Ruiz doubled them both in for a 3-2 Miami lead.
Senior Brandon Lopez, the final better Clark faced before being removed for reliever Kevin Lewallyn, connected on an RBI single to push Miami’s lead to 4-2.
The visitors took advantage of some Duke miscues in the seventh to pad their lead to 7-2. With two runner in scoring position, Barr connected on a dribbler towards a charging Jalen Phillips at first. But with no one covering the base, Abreu – who doubled off Lewallyn to open the inning – scored.
Duke reliever James Ziemba issued back-to-back bases-loaded walks to force in two more runs, as Heyward and Ruiz were both credited with RBI.
Freshman Andrew Cabezas struck out three batters in two scoreless innings of relief.
Abreu added his second RBI double off the “Blue Monster” in the ninth for the first insurance run. Freshman Ryan Alvarez (two-RBI single), sophomore Peter Crocitto (RBI single), junior Barry Buchowski (two-RBI single) and Ruiz (RBI single) all recorded hits in the ninth.
The hit was the first of Buchowski's Miami career, while the RBI were the first for Alvarez.
Freshman Isaiah Musa pitched a 1-2-3 scoreless ninth inning to finish off the victory.
The Hurricanes return to Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Sat., April 16 for Game 2 of the series. First pitch for the contest, slated for broadcast on ESPN3 and WVUM 90.5 FM, is set for 1 p.m.