Baseball Opens 2005 Season With 2-0 Win Over N.C. A&T

Burke and Torcise combine for the shutout; Baumann provides game-winning homer

Eric Baumann's fourth-inning homer lifted Duke over N.C. A&T.

Eric Baumann's fourth-inning homer lifted Duke over N.C. A&T.

Feb. 5, 2005

Final Stats

DURHAM, N.C. - Starter Greg Burke threw five scoreless innings and David Torcise tossed four more as Duke opened the 2005 season with a 2-0 shutout of North Carolina A&T at Jack Coombs Field. Sophomore Eric Baumann's two-run homer in the fourth inning provided all the Duke offense.

After Burke got the Aggies in order in the top of the first, junior shortstop Adam Murray led off the bottom of the inning with a double to the gap in left-center but was gunned down trying to advance to third on Jimmy Gallagher's chopper to short. Javier Socorro then grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Neither team threatened again until the fourth, when Murray again led off with a double, this one going over the head of Aggie right fielder Marcus Mack. After Gallagher went down swinging, Socorro hit a screaming line drive to shortstop Chris Williams, who dropped it. Still, the umpire ruled that Williams had possession and Socorro was called out. The next hitter, Baumann, got Duke on the board, sending a towering fly ball to center. The ball came down and caromed off the top of the wall and out of the park for a two-run homer. Duke looked to get more when Bryan Smith worked a walk and then stole second, but Corey Whiting went down on strikes to end the threat.

Burke allowed only two hits through his first five innings but after allowing a single to lead off the sixth and reaching his early-season pitch count, Head Coach Bill Hillier went to Torcise. After rolling through the sixth and seventh innings, Torcise got the first two men in the eighth before allowing a double to Jeremy Jones, who advanced to third on a passed ball. Torcise bore down and got Charlie Gamble to ground to short to end the inning.

In the ninth, cleanup hitter Joe McIntyre led off with a single off Torcise. The next batter, first baseman Patrick Oates, hit a long fly ball to left, but Socorro tracked it down, making the reaching catch just in front of the wall. Torcise then retired back-to-back pinch hitters to seal the game and record a four-inning save.

"That was a nice win for us," said Hillier. "Burke didn't have his best stuff, but it was good to see us win when he didn't pitch as well as he can. I was also really happy with Torcise. Early in the year, he looks like he's in midseason form. If we continue to pitch well and play good defense, we're going to be in a lot of ballgames."

Burke issued a walk in each of his first three innings, but allowed only one Aggie baserunner to reach second. The senior right-hander put up six strikeouts in his five innings of work, before giving way to Torcise. The sophomore southpaw came on with a man on first and no outs in the sixth and retired the next eight Aggie hitters before scuffling a bit in the eighth.

Duke resumes its series with the Aggies tomorrow. The game will begin at 1 p.m. at Jack Coombs Field. Sophomore righty Danny Otero will take the hill for Duke.

Related Stories