Kyle Gallagher was responsible for all of his team’s scoring as Duke beat Texas A&M, 4-1, Sunday night to win the NCAA tournament’s Morgantown Regional.
With two wins over the Aggies (39-23-1) and another against host West Virginia, the Blue Devils finish undefeated in the mountains to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals for the second consecutive year.
“This was the reward for (our guys) for staying in the fight through what’s been a difficult and trying season at times for us,” Duke coach Chris Pollard said.
Gallagher hit a three-run shot to left field, bringing home Matt Mervis and Michael Rothenberg to give Duke (34-25) a 3-0 advantage in the first inning.
The Aggies scored their run in the third inning with Bryce Blaum scoring on a Hunter Coleman sacrifice fly to center field.
The Blue Devils responded immediately, with Kennie Taylor singling to lead off the third before advancing to second on a balk. Gallagher brought him home on a double to center field, giving the Blue Devils a 4-1 lead.
Texas A&M nearly came back for the second time of the day (the first being its 11-10 comeback win against West Virginia) as Blue Devil starter Bill Chillari loaded up the bases to bring the go-ahead run at the plate.
Jack Carey replaced Chillari on the mound and retired the next two batters to prevent any damage. The Aggies didn’t put another runner in scoring position for the rest of the game.
“I was definitely a little nervous (coming in),” Carey said. “But I’ve been lucky enough to be in those positions before.”
Carey picked up his fourth win of the season in relief, allowing only one hit in 2 and 1/13 innings.
With the win, the Blue Devils will play the super regional at No. 2 national seed Vanderbilt, which beat Indiana State 12-2 to win the Nashville Regional Sunday night.