“It proved to be a pitchers’ duel, and a very interesting one, not a hit being made by the Minneapolis giants off Davis, while St. Louis made but two during the game, one a slashing free hit by Will Gleason, the other a ‘batted’ ball by Latham, who beat the ball to first by speedy running.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April16, 1884, p5
Previous earliest use (Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3rd edition, 2009):
BD: 1ST USE. 1900. “The game lacked in interest, as most pitcher’s duels do” (Chicago Daily Tribune, Aug. 12).