Three more Duke (33-21) homers, including Schreck’s third, led to a six-run fifth to put Duke up 13-4.
“It’s definitely a little bit frustrating,” Piotto said. “At our field it’s definitely a graveyard. We barrel balls in batting practice and our best bullets are bouncing 20 feet in front of the warning track. And you get here and balls off the end of the bat are hitting the scoreboard.”
Wright State starter Bradley Brehmer allowed six runs in three innings. Then the Raiders made four errors to lead to six unearned runs off relievers over the next couple innings.
“We didn’t play our brand of baseball – a little sloppy defensively – and we can pitch it much better than that,” Wright State coach Alex Sogard said. “But I give credit to Duke because they took advantage of our mistakes.”
Piotto said the homer-inducing park didn’t change pitching strategies for Brehmer, Friday night starter Jake Schrand or any of the relievers.
“It’s still our best stuff against their guys,” Piotto said. “At the end of the day it didn’t work out.”
Down 13-4 the Raiders tried to rally in the bottom of the sixth, but Schreck robbed Black of a grand slam. All they got out of it was a sacrifice fly to trail 13-5. Schreck robbed another homer later in the game.
“We had a little rally going and the guy made a heck of a play,” Sogard said. “Tip your cap to him. He made two incredible plays out there. That’s tough when it doesn’t go your way on a play like that. You need the ball to bounce your way on some of those when you get down that much early.”
The Raiders led the nation in scoring at 10.6 runs a game and in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. They dominated the Horizon League all-league team and beat Milwaukee 21-3 in the league tournament final. Hamilton was named a first-team all-American by Collegiate Baseball newspaper.
“No one thought this was going to be the end result,” Piotto said. “No one ever shows up to the ballpark expecting a game like that.”