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NCAA Tournament: Metz’s Three Homers Power Duke Past UNC-Wilmington in 12-3 Rout

 Matt Tallarini  |    Jun 3rd, 2023 8:44pm EDT

Chad Knight celebrates with MJ Metzof the Duke Blue Devils after his home run in the ninth inning during the ACC Baseball Championship at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on May 23, 2023 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)

Duke University designated hitter MJ Metz launched three home runs yesterday as the Blue Devils beat UNC-Wilmington 12-3 in the NCAA Regional in Conway, South Carolina.  

Metz is leading the program with 16 home runs heading into the second game of the NCAA Regional. 

In the top of the first inning, the Seahawks would get on the board first when Tanner Thach roped a double to right field as Dillon Lifrieri came in to score for the first run of the game. 

During the top of the second, UNC-Wilmington would crack the scoreboard once again as Trevor Marsh lifted a solo home run to right field and the Seahawks extended their lead to 2-0. 

In the bottom of the third inning, the Blue Devils would finally get on the scoreboard when Andrew Fischer doubled to center field, scoring Alex Mooney. 

During the bottom of the fourth inning, Metz came to the plate and unleashed his first home run of the game deep over the center field wall to tie the score at two apiece. 

Seahawks starting pitcher Jacob Shafer was lifted after three innings, allowing three hits, three earned runs, one walk, and struck out two. 

A few batters later, Damon Lux drilled a two-run home run over the center field wall, scoring Giovanni DiGiacamo to go up 4-2. 

Duke’s starting pitcher Alex Gow would pitch 4.1 innings, allowing six hits, three earned runs, no walks, and struck out five batters in the first game of the 2023 NCAA tournament. 

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Metz drove a two-run home run over the right center field fence to extend the lead to 6-3. 

Duke added six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning beginning with Jay Beshears solo home run to left field to extend the score to 7-3. 

A few batters later, Metz cranked his third home run of the game, a two-run home run to left field, and Stone came in to score to give the Blue Devils took a commanding 9-3 lead. 

Metz had five RBI in total during his three home run day against the Seahawks in the first game of the NCAA tournament. 

The Duke Blue Devils (36-21) will play against Rider University (36-19) in the winners bracket today at 6 p.m. EDT on ESPN+.