DURHAM, N.C. - Shortstop Ronnie Bernick broke a 4-4 tie in the top of the 11th with an RBI-double and Canisius added another run in the frame to defeat Duke 6-4 in 11 innings on Sunday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field. The Blue Devils (4-5) and Golden Griffins (4-3) split the weekend series.
With two outs in the 11th, Jesse Puscheck got on base with a pinch-hit infield single. Bernick followed with his RBI-double to left center to drive in the eventual game-winner. Second baseman Jose Torralba added an RBI-single through the right side to give the Griffs a two-run lead.
Junior right-hander Chase Bebout was outstanding on the mound for the Blue Devils. Bebout held Canisius to one run on two hits in a season-high six innings of work. Bebout had three strikeouts and retired the last 13 batters he faced, getting 1-2-3 innings in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Duke grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. After right fielder Grant McCabe reached on a fielder's choice, the freshman advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a passed ball. Designated hitter Jeff Kremer then drove McCabe home with a two-out, RBI-single to center.
Left fielder Jesse Kelso and center fielder Ryan Coppinger drew two-out walks in the top of the second for Canisius. Bernick followed with an RBI-single through the right side to tie the game at 1-1.
Center fielder Will Piwnica-Worms crushed a two-out triple to the wall in left in the bottom of the third. Kremer then dropped an RBI-bloop single down the left field line for his second RBI of the day, giving the Blue Devils a 2-1 lead.
After Piwnica-Worms was hit by a pitch with one out in the fifth, the senior stole second base to get into scoring position. Two batters later, third baseman Jordan Betts lined an RBI-triple into the gap in right center. Catcher Mike Rosenfeld followed with an RBI-triple of his own, sending a line drive that one-hopped the center field wall to give Duke a 4-1 advantage.
Torralba drew a bases-loaded walk and first baseman Jimmy Luppens added a two-run single in the top of the seventh to tie the game at 4-4.
Sophomore reliever Drew Van Orden worked his way out of a tight jam in the top of the eighth to keep the score tied at 4-4. Right fielder Chris Gruarin tripled off the wall in right center to begin the inning. Designated hitter Shane Zimmer then drew a walk and was replaced on the base paths by pinch runner Manny Hernandez. Hernandez would then steal second to give the Griffs a pair of runners in scoring position with no outs. Van Orden then struck out catcher Brooklyn Foster and Kelso back-to-back before getting Coppinger to ground out to end the inning.
Rosenfeld went 3-for-5 with an RBI-triple to lead the Blue Devils at the plate. Kremer had two hits and two RBI, Piwnica-Worms had two hits, including a triple, and scored twice, and Betts added two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Left fielder Anthony D'Alessandro also had two hits in the game and shortstop Matt Berezo added a hit from the leadoff spot.
Canisius reliever Nathan Linseman (2-0) earned the win after holding the Blue Devils scoreless in 2.1 innings out of the bullpen. Jon Fitzsimmons picked up his second save of the season, recording the final out of the game with a strikeout. Jason Rubenstein added 3.1 shutout relief innings for the Griffs.
Andrew Istler (1-1) took the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in 2.2 innings.
Duke will return to action on Tuesday when they host Eastern Michigan at 3:15 p.m. at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Blue Devils will then return to Jack Coombs Field for a three-game series against George Washington next weekend.