Duke Baseball Game Notes
Duke (31-18, 12-12 ACC) at No. 13 Virginia (35-19-1, 13-8-1 ACC)
May 8-10, 2009
Charlottesville, Va. (Davenport Field)
Game 1 - May 8 (7 p.m.)
Duke: Christopher Manno (4-4, 4.61 ERA)
Virginia: Danny Hultzen (6-0, 2.30 ERA)
Game 2 - May 9 (7 p.m.)
Duke: Andrew Wolcott (6-3, 2.42 ERA)
Virginia: Andrew Carraway (5-0, 3.39 ERA)
Game 3 - May 10 (1 p.m.)
Duke: To Be Determined
Virginia: Robert Morey (1-0, 3.02 ERA)
Complete notes attached as a PDF
Duke Against Virginia
Duke trails Virginia 52-84-1 in the all-time series, but took two of three games in the last meeting in 2008 when Virginia was ranked 16th in the country. The series win last season was the first for Duke since the Blue Devils swept the Cavaliers in 1998, though Duke has won a game in each of the last two seasons. Duke is 4-5 against Virginia under head coach Sean McNally.
Active Blue Devils vs. Virginia
Outfielder Alex Hassan has had the most success at the plate against Virginia, batting .320 with eight hits and eight runs in six games. Hassan hit .500 in Duke’s series win in 2008, going 6-for-12 with four runs, a double and a walk. Hassan has also been Duke’s best pitcher in the series with a 2.00 ERA and two saves in 9.0 innings. Hassan got both of those saves in two scoreless appearances in 2008, preserving a 9-8 win in the opener and a 4-1 win in the finale. Ryan McCurdy is the only other active Blue Devil hitting .300 against Virginia, going 3-for-10 in the 2007 series.
Duke Against Ranked Teams
The Blue Devils are currently 4-5 on the season against ranked teams with a series win over No. 1 North Carolina. Duke took games two and three against the top-ranked Tar Heels 5-4 and 10-9 after falling 8-5 in the opener. Duke also took a game from No. 6 Miami 2-0 and another from No. 17 Clemson, 10-7. Duke has won at least two games over top-25 opponents in each of the last three seasons, including four in 2008 and 2009.
ACC Tournament Scenario
Duke is currently in seventh place in the ACC, putting the Blue Devils’ postseason destiny in their hands heading into the final two series of the season. Duke has not made the tournament since 2006 when the conference decided to trim the field to eight teams. Duke has a half game lead over Boston College (12-13 ACC) for seventh place.
Duke enters the weekend at 31-18 overall and 12-12 in the ACC. The Blue Devils got their 30th win against Presbyterian on Wednesday to become the first Duke team since 1998 to record consecutive 30-win seasons. Duke went 37-18-1 in 2008.
The Blue Devils are 4-5 against top-25 teams this season with a series win over No. 1 North Carolina. Duke has also beat No. 6 Miami and No. 17 Clemson this year. The Blue Devils have earned at least three top-25 wins in the past three seasons with four each in 2008 and 2009.
Nate Freiman is tied for the ACC home run lead with 15 long balls. Freiman hit three home runs in every game against Boston College. With 38 in his career, he needs just four more to tie Duke’s all-time home run record of 42.
Duke has struck out the fewest times of any team in the ACC. The Blue Devils have whiffed just 238 times in 49 games for an average of 4.9 strikeouts per game. Virginia has the next fewest strikeouts with 281 for an average of 6.2 per game.
Duke closer Alex Hassan tied the school’s all-time saves record after picking up a four-out save against No. 17 Clemson and needs just one more save to break Duke’s all-time record. Hassan has eight saves this season and 13 for his career.
Duke catcher Matt Williams has caught 14 base runners stealing this season for the second most in the ACC. Williams is holding opposing runners to a 64 percent success rate on the base paths, which is the second-lowest among all ACC catchers.
Nate Freiman is one of 10 remaining candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which honors one student-athlete from six major sports based on their excellence in four areas: Classroom, Character, Community and Competition.
Duke is 29-1 when leading after the sixth inning, thanks to a bullpen that has racked up 12 wins and an ACC-leading 16 saves. Five different Blue Devils have recorded saves this year with Alex Hassan leading the team with eight.
Starter Andrew Wolcott has the second-lowest ERA in the ACC at 2.42. The 6-6, 240 pound senior right-hander has given up more than two runs in a game just three times in 10 starts and more than three in a game just once all season. Wolcott (6-3) has defeated all three top-25 teams he has faced this season.
Duke has turned 46 double plays this season, which is 10 shy of a new school record. Second baseman Gabriel Saade has played a key role in Duke’s ability to turn two, as the junior has helped out on a team-leading 32 of those.