The Alexandria Dukes stranded 11 baserunners and fell short in an eighth-inning rally last night as the Lynchburg Mets triumphed, 4-2, in a Carolina League game at Four Mile Run Park.
Ron Graves relieved winning pitcher Dave Smith with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth. Graves walked Jeff Rudolph to give Alexandria its second run of the inning, then induced Ron Russell to ground into an inning-ending double play. Graves retired the Dukes in the ninth, allowing only a walk.
Duke starter Tim Norris breezed through the first three innings, facing only nine batters and striking out three. In the fourth, designated hitter Rusty Tillman smacked a 2-0 fast ball for a double. Roger Frash followed with a ground single through the box to give the Mets a 1-0 lead.
The Mets made it 2-0 in the fifth when Dave Duff tripled to right-center and scored on a two-out wild pitch.
The Mets chased Norris in the sixth. After two outs, Gary Hardie walked and Paul Niggebrugge singled to put runners on first and second. Paul Rudiman relieved Norris and walked Duff and Jose Oquendo to force in the third run.
The Mets got their final run in the eighth of Mark Smith. Smith hit Hardie and Niggebrugge followed with a triple to left-center to score Hardie.
Before the game, the Dukes added shortstop Mark Harris to their roster. Harris, a graduate of Stonewall Jackson High School who played one season for the University of Maryland, was the New York Yankees' first pick in the June 1977 draft and played last season with the Yankees' AA club in West Haven, Conn.