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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
Duke Welcomes Davidson for Tuesday Midweek Contest
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 02/18/2019
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THE MATCHUP
No. 22 Duke vs. Davidson
When: Tuesday, Feb. 19
Where: Durham Bulls Athletic Park 
Listen Live: The Duke Sports Network
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Leading Off

  • Coming off a hot weekend, Duke prepares for its first midweek matchup of the 2019 campaign, welcoming Davidson to Durham Bulls Athletic Park.  
  •  The Blue Devils and Wildcats will meet for the 145th time in program history when the two teams square off Tuesday evening.
  • Most recently, Duke earned a three-game series sweep over Lehigh, defeating the Mountain Hawks over the weekend.
  • The 3-0 start by the Blue Devils marks the best start for the program since beginning the 2008 campaign with a 10-0 record.

Series History
Duke and Davidson will meet for the 145th time in program history when the two in-state schools square off in Tuesday’s midweek matchup, marking the first of a home-and-home between the two this season. The Blue Devils hold the series advantage over the Wildcats with a record of 112-31-1, including a 37-11-1 mark at Davidson. Duke currently owns a six-game winning streak against the Wildcats dating back to 2014. Most recently, the Blue Devils blanked Davidson, 5-0, a season ago. Head coach Chris Pollard holds a 23-7 career record over his alma mater, including a 5-1 mark during his time at Duke. 

Against the Atlantic 10
In program history, Duke owns a combined record of 166-54-2 (.752) against current members of the Atlantic 10: Davidson (112-31-1), Fordham (5-4), George Mason (0-1), George Washington (10-2-1), La Salle (9-1), Massachusetts (2-2), Rhode Island (2-0), Richmond (15-6), St. Bonaventure (3-0), Saint Louis (1-1)  and VCU (7-6). Tuesday’s contest marks the first of five matchups against A-10 schools across the 2019 campaign, as the Blue Devils are slated for midweek matchups against Davidson and Richmond, along with a doubleheader versus VCU. Pollard owns a 31-10 career record against current A-10 members, including an 8-2 mark during his time in Durham. 

Bringing the Brooms Out
The Blue Devils completed the series sweep over Lehigh opening weekend thanks to a 4-3 comeback victory in Sunday’s series finale. Duke took the first two games of the series, winning each game by a seven-run margin, before using a three-run fifth inning in game three of the weekend series to rally and defeat the Mountain Hawks to secure the sweep. Duke is 3-0 for the first time in over a decade, marking the best start for the program since beginning the 2008 campaign with a 10-0 record. 

Fresh Faces on the Diamond
After losing 16 lettermen from last year’s roster, including seven of nine positional starters, 10 players saw their first career action as a Blue Devil in the season-opening series against Lehigh. The combination of freshmen Jack Carey, Damon Lux, Rudy Maxwell, Ethan Murray, Matt Stinebiser and Cooper Stinson, sophomore Wil Hoyle, juco transfer Eli Herrick, and graduate transfers Kyle Gallagher and Ben Gross each saw their first action as Blue Devil in the series versus the Mountain Hawks. Maxwell, Murray and Gallagher each got the start on Opening Day, with Murray and Gallagher starting all three games across the weekend. Carey, Gross, Hoyle, Lux, and Stinebiser came off the bench in Saturday’s contest, while Stinson got the start for Sunday’s series finale. Herrick made a relief appearance in Sunday’s game, earning his first career save to clinch the sweep for the Blue Devils. 

Pollard Reaches the Two-Century Mark
Duke baseball head coach Chris Pollard notched his 200th career win at Duke on Saturday, as the Blue Devils defeated Lehigh, 8-1. With the win, Pollard becomes just the third head coach in school history to reach the milestone, and ranks third in program history for his victory total, only behind Jack Coombs (381-171-3, 1929-52) and Steve Traylor (356-286-1, 1988-99). Pollard is the first Duke skipper to lead the Blue Devils to five 30-win seasons in his first six campaigns, and is currently 14 games shy of 600 career wins with a career mark of 586-464-3.

Trusting the Process
Making his first start since 2017, junior infielder Erikson Nichols provided the Blue Devils with a solid series performance on opening weekend. The Oradell, N.J., native paced the Duke offense all weekend, batting a team-high .556 (5-9) with three RBI, while also notching a team-high on-base percentage (.636). In just one weekend of action, Nichols bested or matched his hit and RBI totals from a season ago -- four hits and three RBI across 19 at-bats and 36 appearances. Friday’s season opener saw Nichols set a career-high in hits with three knocks, while tying his personal-best total in RBI with two.

Height of Efficiency
The Blue Devil pitching staff lived up to its hype this past weekend, posting an efficient performance across all three games against Lehigh. Duke allowed just three earned runs the entire weekend, all of which came in Sunday’s series finale. The staff totaled 49 strikeouts, averaging 16.33 strikeouts per nine innings -- a mark that ranks atop the conference -- and notched a strikeout to walk ratio of 6.13 (49 K-8 BB). The Blue Devils also rank first in the league in ERA (3 ER/27.0 IP), while placing second in both hits allowed (14) and walks per nine innings (2.67).

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