DURHAM, N.C. - In the midst of a nine-game home stretch, the Duke baseball team will host its first weekend series at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park as Towson travels to Durham for a three-game set Mar. 1-3. Game times will be 4:30 p.m. Friday, 5:30 Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
Steve Barnes (Friday and Saturday) and Chris Edwards (Sunday) will call the action for the Blue Devil Network audio broadcast. The Blue Devil Network will also carry live video of all three games, while live stats are available through GoDuke.com. In addition, fans can follow updates of each game via @Duke_BASE, the official Twitter account of Duke baseball.
Duke is 4-3 on the year following a 9-3 loss to Campbell this past Wednesday. The Blue Devils led 1-0 early before the Camels put up five runs combined in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take the lead. Redshirt sophomore Chris Marconcini went 2-for-3 on the day with a solo home run in the bottom of the second, his second homer this season and sixth of his career.
Prior to Wednesday's contest, the Blue Devils swept Bucknell in a three-game series at Jack Coombs Field. Duke's pitching staff was stellar over the weekend, limiting Bucknell to a .102 average for the series. In three games, Duke surrendered nine hits and five walks while recording 37 strikeouts.
Friday's matchup features Duke left-hander Trent Swart (1-0, 1.38 ERA, 14K) facing Towson righty Mike Volpe (1-0, 0.87 ERA, 4K). Swart gave up just two hits in eight scoreless innings this past Friday against Bucknell. The Carlsbad, Calif., native did not issue a walk and struck out a career-high-tying 10 in the 9-0 Duke victory.
Junior right-hander Drew Van Orden (0-1, 1.59 ERA, 16K) will oppose Tiger RHP Paul Beers (0-1, 6.75 ERA, 7K) in game two of the series. Van Orden earned the win in a 2-0 shutout of Bucknell last Saturday, striking out a career-best 13 while combining with sophomore Andrew Istler for the one-hit shutout.
Duke will send junior RHP Robert Huber (2-0, 3.86 ERA, 6K) to the mound for Sunday's series finale against Towson righty Brandon Gonnella (1-1, 0.00 ERA, 10K). Huber went 5.0 innings in his first start of the season this past weekend, holding Bucknell to one run on three hits.
Towson is 4-2 in 2013 after a pair of three-game sets against McNeese State and Nicholls State. The Tigers swept McNeese State the opening weekend before dropping two of three at Nicholls State.
Friday's game will be the first meeting between Duke and Towson since the 1988 campaign. The Tigers lead the all-time series 3-5-1.
Next up, Duke and Penn will square off in a pair of midweek games Tuesday, Mar. 5 and Wednesday, Mar. 6 at Jack Coombs Field. The Blue Devils then make their second trip to Florida this season, traveling to Miami for the ACC opener Friday, Mar. 8.