|Duke at NC Central
|When: Tuesday, April 9|
|Where: Durham, N.C. (Durham Athletic Park)|
DURHAM, N.C. – After a weekend sweep over Pittsburgh, the Blue Devils look to carry their momentum into this week’s matchup.
Duke is set for a midweek clash at NC Central, marking the first installment of a home-and-home series between the Blue Devils and Eagles.
The first pitch between the two Durham schools is set for 6 p.m. at Durham Athletic Park. Duke owns a perfect 23-0 record in the all-time series over NC Central, including a 3-0 mark in road contests.
Duke and NC Central will meet for the 24th time in program history when the two Durham schools square off in Tuesday’s midweek matchup, marking the first of a home-and-home series between the two this season. The Blue Devils are a perfect 23-0 in the all-time series, including a 3-0 mark in away games against the Eagles. Duke and NC Central met twice last season, as the Blue Devils defeated the Eagles, 8-2, in the first matchup of the season at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, before claiming a 5-3 victory over NC Central at Durham Athletic Park to secure the season sweep. Head coach Chris Pollard holds a 13-0 career record over NC Central during his time at Duke.
Trending for Duke
The Blue Devils look to carry their momentum into this week, after notching a series win over Pittsburgh, marking the squad’s second weekend sweep of the season. After weather forced the two teams to postpone Friday’s series opener and play a doubleheader Saturday, Duke handed the Panthers their first shutout loss of the season in a 2-0 contest in game one of the twinbill. The Blue Devils carried a 5-3 deficit into the bottom of the seventh in game two of the series before rallying for three runs across the final two frames to secure the 6-5 victory and claim the series. Duke clinched the series finale in walk-off fashion, scratching a run across in the bottom of the 10th to tally the 10-9 victory over Pittsburgh and secure the sweep.
Welcome Back Joey
After a 23-game absence due to injury, sophomore Joey Loperfido returned to the lineup this past week and came up big in his first ACC series of the season for the Blue Devils. The sophomore infielder provided Duke with the game-winning hits in the final two games of the series against Pittsburgh. Loperfido finished with four hits in game two of the series, including the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the eighth to help Duke to a comeback victory. The sophomore’s two-run shot marked his first long ball of the season, and put the Blue Devils ahead 6-5, securing the series-clinching win. Loperfido came up clutch once again in the series finale, sending a single through the right side to plate the winning run and walk it off for the Blue Devils in the bottom of the 10th to clinch the sweep. The Blue Devil second baseman was named the Duke Student-Athlete of the Week for his performance.
On Deck for Duke
Following the midweek contest with the Eagles, the Blue Devils are set for a weekend home series against Virginia Tech at Jack Coombs Field. The Blue Devils and the Hokies are slated for a 6 p.m. first pitch in Friday’s series opener, while Saturday’s and Sunday’s games are both scheduled for 1 p.m. starts at Coombs.