Centracchio’s Walk-off Blast Gives Wildcats a Win Over #10 Duke
CHARLOTTE — With the game on the line in the ninth inning Tuesday night, Davidson’s Brett Centracchio was looking for a pitch to attack.
Or, in his words, “something to do damage with.”
The Wildcats’ senior got it and delivered a walk-off two-run home run to seal a 7-6 win over No. 10 Duke at BB&T Ballpark. It’s Davidson’s first win over a ranked opponent since the two NCAA Regional wins over No. 2 North Carolina in 2017, when Centracchio was a freshman and the Wildcats’ starting designated hitter.
“It means a lot,” said Centracchio, who also homered in the Charlotte Knights’ home park a year ago. “One thing it shows is we can compete with really good teams.”
The Wildcats (13-3) entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 6-5, and Alex Fedje-Johnson was hit by a Thomas Girard pitch to lead off. Centracchio came up with one out, and got his pitch on a 1-0 count. It was a hanging slider from the Blue Devils’ closer, and Centracchio hit it into the seats in right field.
“Walking by Brett, I told him, ‘Get something up and hit it out,'” said coach Rucker Taylor. “I thought he heard me. It’s not that easy — you still have to hit a home run — but he does it.”
Centracchio also scored the first run of the game in the second inning. After being hit by a pitch, he scored on Henry Koehler’s sacrifice bunt to make it 1-0.
The Wildcats reclaimed the lead with three runs in the fourth inning, including RBI-singles from Matt Frey and Fedje-Johnson and made it 5-2 when Zach Nussbaum and Koehler hit back-to-back two-out doubles.
Duke (12-4), which had won the previous eight meetings with Davidson, answered, however, and evened the score with three runs in the sixth off of four hits and a Wildcat error. The Blue Devils took the lead in the eighth with the help of an error and two wild pitches.
Nolan DeVos threw the final 1.1 innings and earned his first career win.
Starter Jacob Walker threw four innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs and striking out two.
Editor’s Note: with the unexpected cancellation of the remainder of the season – the game against Duke was the ‘Cats’ last game of the season. A big time last at bat for senior Brett Centracchio.