|Duke at No. 12 Miami|
|When: May 16-18|
|Where: Coral Gables, Fla. (Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field)|
|Watch: Game 1 (Thursday)|
|Watch: Game 2 (Friday)|
|Watch: Game 3 (Saturday)|
|Listen Live: The Duke Sports Network|
DURHAM, N.C. – The Blue Devils head into the final weekend of the regular season, primed for a three-game series at Miami.
Duke has won four of its last five ACC series, most recently dropping a series to seventh-ranked Georgia Tech last weekend.
The Blue Devils and Hurricanes are set for a 7 p.m. first pitch in Thursday’s series opener, while Friday’s matchup is also scheduled for 7 p.m. The series finale between the two Coastal Division foes is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
Duke and Miami will meet for the 50th time in program history when the two Coastal Division foes square off in Thursday’s series opener at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field. The Hurricanes hold the series advantage over the Blue Devils, 38-11, including an 18-6 mark in Coral Gables. Most recently, Duke hosted Miami for a three-game home series a season ago, winning the first two games of the weekend to claim their first ACC series win of the season. Head coach Chris Pollard owns a 7-14 career record against Miami, including a 6-13 record during his time at Duke.
Trending for Duke
The Blue Devils head into the final weekend of the regular season looking to rebound from a series loss to seventh-ranked Georgia Tech last weekend. Duke fell, 14-10, in the series opener before losing 15-3 in the second game of the weekend to mark its first ACC series loss in over a month. The Blue Devils turned things around in the final game of the week, combining a solid offensive effort with an impressive pitching performance to claim a 10-4 victory in the finale. Duke has dropped five of its last six contests, including a midweek loss at Liberty on Tuesday evening to close out the 2019 regular season nonconference slate.
Senior co-captain Kennie Taylor has proved to be a leader across the 2019 campaign, both on and off the field for this year’s team. Taylor, the squad’s starting center fielder, leads the club in multiple statistical categories, including hits (75), doubles (18), triples (5) and runs scored (44), while ranking second in RBI (39) and tying for second in home runs with six. The Tampa, Fla., native is currently hitting at a .350 clip to pace the team, and has recorded 23 multi-hit games this season, including eight three-hit efforts.
Welcome Back Joey
After a 23-game absence due to injury, sophomore infielder Joey Loperfido returned to the lineup on April 3 and has provided the Blue Devils with an offensive spark. Duke is an impressive 20-8 when Loperfido is a part of the lineup, including a 15-8 mark since his return. Across the 28 games that Loperfido has played, the Blue Devils are fielding at a .975 percentage with 25 errors, opposed to fielding at a rate of .955 with 38 errors in the 23 games when he was injured.
Pollard Nearing 30
Head coach Chris Pollard is just one win away from notching his sixth consecutive 30-win season for the Blue Devils. Last season, the Duke skipper became the first head coach to lead the Blue Devils to five 30-win seasons in first six campaigns. This spring, Pollard has notched his 200th win at Duke, which came in the second game of the season against Lehigh, and his 600th career win as head coach, which came in the series finale against Pittsburgh. Pollard’s victory total of 227 ranks third in school history, only behind Jack Coombs (381-171-3, 1929-52) and Steve Traylor (356-286-1, 1988-99).