DURHAM, N.C. – After nearly a week-long break from their last game, the Duke Blue Devils get back on the field this Sunday, May 8, in a home double header against Mount St. Mary’s at Jack Coombs Field.
The Blue Devils, who have led the ACC in selections to the All-ACC Academic Baseball Team in three of the past five years, have not seen game action since last Sunday due to final exams. Mount St. Mary’s will break a six-game hiatus on Sunday in the first of Duke’s last two home series.
Duke (21-26, 5-19 ACC) welcomes the return to its campus home at Jack Coombs Field where the Blue Devils own a 12-3 record this season. Duke has played some of its best baseball on campus, sporting a .305 batting average, a 2.67 ERA and a .977 fielding percentage. Freshman Anthony D'Alessandro owns a .477 batting average at Jack Coombs Field and is one of eight Blue Devils batting over .300 at the venue.
Duke will use its top two arms in the twinbill, sending right-handed sophomore Marcus Stroman (2-4, 3.38 ERA) to the mound in game one and right-handed senior Dennis O'Grady (4-3, 3.97 ERA) to the mound in game two. It will be the 22nd consecutive weekend start for O’Grady, who has been Duke’s most consistent starter and is on pace to set career bests in wins, ERA, strikeouts and innings pitched. Stroman, meanwhile, leads Duke in strikeouts for the second straight year while averaging 12.56 strikeouts per nine innings, 2.81 walks per nine and a .262 opponent batting average.
The Mountaineers (12-30) will counter with ace Max Brittenham (3-5, 2.61 ERA) in the opener. The senior right-hander has made a team-high 10 starts and leads the nation with seven complete games. All seven of those complete games have come in succession, and he owns a 2.59 ERA during that span but a 3-4 record due to a lack of run support. In his last start, Brittenham struck out a season-high nine without issuing a walk.
Following the non-conference games against Mount St. Mary’s, Duke will host Wake Forest at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on May 13-15 in the final home series of the season. The Blue Devils will the play a lone midweek contest at The Citadel on May 17 before ending the regular season at Miami on May 19-21.