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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
Duke Hits the Road for ACC Series at No. 16 Clemson
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 04/18/2019
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Duke at No. 16 Clemson
When: April 19-21
Where: Clemson, S.C. (Doug Kingsmore Stadium)
Watch: Game 1 (Friday)
Watch: Game 2 (Saturday)
Watch: Game 3 (Sunday)
Listen Live: The Duke Sports Network

DURHAM, N.C. – The Blue Devils are on an upward trend and look to carry the momentum into the weekend as the team travels down to Clemson, S.C. for a road ACC series.

Duke has claimed its past two conference series, sweeping Pittsburgh before taking two of three from Virginia Tech last weekend. Most recently, Duke defeated No. 16 Texas Tech, 13-6, Tuesday evening at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

The Blue Devils and Tigers are set for a 6 p.m. first pitch in Friday’s series opener, while Saturday’s contest is slated for a 3 p.m. start at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The series finale between the two teams is set for 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Series History
Duke and Clemson will meet for the 203rd time in program history when the two ACC foes square off in Friday’s series opener at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. The Tigers hold the series advantage over the Blue Devils, 69-132-1, including a 21-62-1 mark in Clemson. Most recently, the two teams met in the 2017 ACC Tournament, with the Blue Devils securing an 8-4 victory over the Tigers. The most recent series between Duke and Clemson came in 2016, with the Blue Devils claiming the bookend games of the three-game set to secure the series win. Head coach Chris Pollard owns a 3-6 career record against Clemson, with all nine matchups coming during his time at Duke.

Trending for Duke  
The Blue Devils are on an upward swing, winning seven of their last eight contests, and look to carry the momentum into this weekend. Most recently Duke defeated No. 16 Texas Tech, 13-6, Tuesday evening in a rematch of last year’s NCAA Lubbock Super Regional. Last weekend, the Blue Devils notched a series win over Virginia Tech, marking the squad’s second consecutive ACC series win. After weather forced the two teams to suspend Friday’s series opener in the bottom of the fourth, the Blue Devils resumed action Saturday afternoon and went on to claim a 4-0 shutout victory over the Hokies. After falling in game two of the series, 6-2, Duke bounced back in the series finale with a 9-5 victory to clinch the series. 

The Loading Dock
After a three-week absence, sophomore Matt Dockman has returned to the bump for the Blue Devils in midseason form. The second-year southpaw has recorded four straight scoreless relief appearances and has only allowed two hits across the span. Dockman made his first appearance of the stretch in game two of the series against Pittsburgh, working 2.0 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and collecting a pair of strikeouts to earn his second win of the season. Dockman appeared in the series opener last weekend against Virginia Tech, covering 3.0 innings, scattering one hit and notching a career-high six strikeouts. Most recently, the Blue Devil left-hander worked 2.0 innings this Tuesday against No. 16 Texas Tech, retiring all six batters he faced to collect his third win of the season.

Welcome Back Joey
After a 23-game absence due to injury, sophomore infielder Joey Loperfido returned to the lineup and provided the Blue Devils with an offensive spark. Duke is an impressive 12-2 when Loperfido is a part of the lineup, including a 7-2 mark since he’s made the return. The Blue Devil leadoff man is batting .368 (14-38), with two doubles, one triple, one home run, four walks and seven runs scored over the nine-game span, while hitting at a .370 (10-27) clip across ACC action.

Chasing Cheek
Junior Chase Cheek is currently riding a career-long 21-game reached base streak, which serves as the second longest on the team this season. Cheek is tied for second on the team in batting average, hitting .292 (40-137), while also ranking second in hits. The junior outfielder ranks third in the ACC in stolen bases with 16 this season. He leads the team in bases swiped, and is currently 16-of-19 on stolen base attempts this season.