DURHAM, N.C. – After helping Duke win a school record 18 league games, five Blue Devils have garnered All-ACC honors as announced by the conference Monday.
Outfielder Griffin Conine, relief pitcher Ethan DeCaster, outfielder Jimmy Herron and utility player Jack Labosky were all named to the All-ACC second team, while first baseman Joey Loperfido netted ACC All-Freshman Team accolades. Duke’s four All-ACC honorees are the program’s most since five Blue Devils collected all-league citations in 1998.
In addition, Conine, Herron and Labosky all earn their second career All-ACC honors. Herron and Labosky were named to the 2016 All-ACC second team, while Conine pulled in second team distinction a year ago.
One of the top power hitters in the country, Conine has totaled 29 extra base hits in 2018, including a team-best 15 home runs to go along with 13 doubles and 48 RBI. He is the first Blue Devil with 15 or more home runs in a season since Nate Freiman in 2009 and ranks tied for seventh in school history with 28 career longballs. Conine was especially productive in ACC play as a junior, tying for the league lead with 12 homers in conference play while also ranking first in slugging percentage (.726), second in total bases (77), third in RBI (30) and fourth in runs scored (29) in conference games.
A graduate student transfer from Creighton, DeCaster has been a dominant force in the Duke bullpen. The righty reliever sports a 5-0 record with five saves and a 0.63 ERA over 42.2 innings. In league games, his ERA drops to a miniscule 0.32. DeCaster leads the team with a sterling 9.2 strikeout-to-walk ratio, fanning 46 batters while issuing just five free passes. Among all active NCAA Division I pitchers, DeCaster ranks seventh with a career 1.90 ERA.
Starting and batting leadoff in all 53 regular season games, Herron owns a .293 batting average while totaling 16 doubles, four home runs, 53 runs scored, 28 RBI and 21 stolen bases. He has walked 14 more times than he’s struck out and leads Duke with a .416 on base percentage. Among ACC players, Herron ranks sixth in runs scored, sixth in stolen bases and seventh in doubles. He is the first Blue Devil to total 50 or more doubles and 50 or more stolen bases in a career. For his career, Herron ranks in the top 25 at Duke in batting average, on base percentage, doubles, walks and stolen bases.
In addition to starting every game at third base this season, Labosky has also taken the mound for 20 relief appearances as Duke’s primary closer. Named to the 2018 NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List, he has allowed three runs in 20 relief appearances, posting a 2-0 record and 0.87 ERA over 31.0 innings with the league’s fourth-highest total in saves (9). Named to the 2018 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Watch List, Labosky is batting .240 with 10 doubles, seven home run and 36 RBI. Labosky holds the program’s career saves record and is the 20th Blue Devil to take the mound in 70 or more career games. He is also the 18th Blue Devil with 20 or more career home runs and ranks in the program’s top 25 in nine career categories.
Loperfido has enjoyed a tremendous start to his collegiate career. The rookie from Haddonfield, N.J., was predominantly a shortstop, third baseman and outfielder in high school, but transitioned to first base with the Blue Devils and has started all 53 games at that position. At the plate, Loperfido leads the team in batting average (.307), totaling nine doubles, six home runs, two triples, 37 RBI, 37 runs scored and 14 stolen bases. Duke (39-14) returns to action for the 2018 ACC Championship. The fourth-seeded Blue Devils take on ninth-seeded Wake Forest at 11 a.m., Thursday, May 24 and fifth-seeded Louisville at 11 a.m., Friday, May 25.