DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke University baseball program and first-year head coach Chris Pollard announced the 2013 schedule Monday. The Blue Devils' 56-game schedule features 31 games in Durham, including 18 contests at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, home of the Tampa Bay Rays Triple-A affiliate.
Nearly half of Duke's schedule consists of games against 2012 NCAA Championship teams, including home series against Georgia Tech and N.C. State. The Blue Devils will have four series totaling 12 games against teams that reached the Super Regionals in 2012, three of which advanced to the College World Series.
Duke dives into the spring slate February 15-17 with a three-game series at Florida, a team which advanced to Omaha after earning the top national seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Devils will be tested by the challenging 30-game ACC schedule in addition to facing in-state foes Campbell, Charlotte, Davidson, High Point, UNC-Greensboro, North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central.
"We look forward to the challenge of competing against one of the top schedules in Division I baseball," said Pollard. "Opening at Florida will certainly give us an early barometer of where we are as a team. The ACC will once again be the premier conference in college baseball. In addition to the 30 league games, we also have a tremendous slate of tough non-conference opponents, complemented by some of our great non-conference regional rivalries."
Duke's home series include bouts against ACC foes Virginia Tech (March 15-17), Boston College (March 29-31), Georgia Tech (April 5-7), Maryland (April 26-28) and N.C. State (May 16-18). The Blue Devils will also play host to Bucknell (February 22-24), Pennsylvania (March 5-6) and Towson State (March 1-3) in non-conference home series along with single-game home meetings with Quinnipiac (March 13), Charlotte (March 20), Davidson (April 2), UNC-Greensboro (April 9), North Carolina Central (April 10), North Carolina A&T (April 16) and High Point (April 23).
A tough road slate awaits the Blue Devils as Duke faces perennial ACC powers Miami (March 8-10), Clemson (March 22-24), Florida State (April 12-14), North Carolina (April 19-21) and Virginia (May 10-12). Duke will also make trips to North Carolina A&T (February 26), North Carolina Central (March 12), Campbell (March 26), High Point (April 24), Liberty (May 5), Davidson (May 7) and UNC-Greensboro (May 14) in non-conference action.
The ACC Baseball Tournament follows Duke's season finale May 18 against N.C. State. The conference tournament will take place May 22-26, returning to Durham, N.C., where the ACC's best will play at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Duke returns 27 letterwinners and eight position players that started at least 34 games a season ago while also adding seven newcomers into the mix for the 2013 campaign.