DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke baseball team secured its third top-25 ranking of the preseason, coming in at No. 25 on the Preseason National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Poll. The Blue Devils were also ranked No. 22 on Baseball America’s Preseason Top 25, and were listed at No. 20 on Collegiate Baseball’s preseason list.
Duke is one of eight ACC teams in the NCBWA Top 40, joining No. 7 North Carolina, No. 9 Louisville, No. 10 Florida State, No. 17 Clemson, No. 28 Wake Forest, No. 30 NC State and No. 31 Georgia Tech. The Blue Devils also have two nonconference opponents listed in the preseason poll, with No. 3 Texas Tech and No. 14 East Carolina receiving preseason recognition.
After losing a combined 11 players from the 2018 Blue Devil baseball squad, including a school-record tying seven to the 2018 MLB Draft, Duke returns two starting position players in outfielder Kennie Taylor and Freshman All-American first baseman Joey Loperfido. The trio of 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 Blue Devil pitching staff in the upcoming campaign.
Sixteen players have joined the Blue Devils for the 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.
Duke opens the 2019 season Feb. 15-17, hosting Lehigh for a three-game home series.