DURHAM, N.C. – Head coach Chris Pollard and the Duke baseball program have released the Blue Devils’ 2019 schedule, Pollard’s seventh season in Durham.
The Blue Devils once again face an exciting slate as the 2019 schedule features 13 games against 2018 NCAA Tournament participants, including matchups against Campbell, Clemson, East Carolina, Louisville, North Carolina and Texas Tech.
“I am very proud of the development of this team over the first half of the fall season,” said Pollard. “Our guys are working and preparing with a definite sense of purpose as we get ready for the 2019 season. February will be here quick. We will once again be playing one of the most challenging schedules in the country. We have a number of key midweek matchups and I believe that 2019 will prove to be one of the best years in the history of ACC baseball.”
Coming off the program’s first NCAA Super Regional appearance, Duke opens the spring at home against Lehigh at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Blue Devils then host Northwestern (Feb. 22-24) and travel to Bradenton, Fla., for a series against Penn State (March 1-3) before delving in ACC play.
Duke begins its conference schedule March 8-10 on the road against Virginia. The Blue Devils also hit the road for league series at North Carolina (March 29-31), Clemson (April 19-21), Boston College (April 26-28) and Miami (May 16-17).
The Blue Devils welcome Louisville to the DBAP for their home ACC opener March 15-17. Duke’s remaining home conference schedule includes series against Wake Forest (March 22-24), Pittsburgh (April 5-7) Virginia Tech (April 12-14) and Georgia Tech (May 10-12).
In non-conference action, Duke hosts midweek matchups against Richmond (Feb. 26), Penn (March 5-6), East Carolina (March 12), Davidson (March 26), Texas Tech (April 16), North Carolina Central (April 23), VCU (May 5) and Liberty (May 8). The April 16 contest versus Texas Tech pits the two Lubbock Super Regional squads against one another in the first regular season meeting between the Blue Devils and the Red Raiders.
The Blue Devils’ non-conference road schedule sends Duke to Davidson (Feb. 19), East Carolina (April 5), NC Central (April 9) and Liberty (May 8).
Midway through the regular season schedule, Duke is also set for an exhibition game against the Durham Bulls, Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. The two teams second meeting in the past three years is slated for a 6 p.m., start April 2 at the DBAP.
“On behalf of our players and coaches, we’re really excited to participate again this year in the Battle of the Bull City,” Pollard said. “What a tremendous honor to be able to take on the back-to-back Governors’ Cup champions in an exhibition game this coming April. We’re very appreciative of the work of the Goodmon family and the Bulls staff in working together with our administration to pull off an exciting night of baseball for the city of Durham.”
After seven Blue Devils began their professional baseball careers and four graduated this past spring, Duke returns two starting position players in outfielder Kennie Taylor and Freshman All-American first baseman Joey Loperfido, while U.S. Collegiate National Team member Graeme Stinson, Cape Cod League Pitcher of the Year Adam Laskey and freshman standout Bryce Jarvis look to bolster the pitching staff.
Sixteen players have joined the Blue Devils for this coming season, including 13 freshmen and three transfers in pitcher Ben Gross from Princeton, pitcher Eli Herrick from Bellevue College and outfielder Kyle Gallagher from Cornell.