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Duke Baseball Game Notes
Duke vs. No. 14 North Carolina
March 12-14, 2010
Durham, N.C. (Durham Bulls Athletic Park)

Friday, March 12 (6 p.m.)
Duke Starter: Michael Ness, RHP (1-0, 2.25 ERA)
UNC Starter: Matt Harvey, RHP (2-0, 1.80 ERA)

Saturday, March 13 (2 p.m.)
Duke Starter: Eric Pfisterer, LHP (2-1, 5.28 ERA)
UNC Starter: Patrick Johnson, RHP (2-1, 2.41 ERA)

Sunday, March 14 (1 p.m.)
Duke Starter: TBA
UNC Starter: Colin Bates, RHP (3-0, 3.57 ERA)

Duke Storylines

Duke Opens 6-0 At DBAP

  • The Blue Devils posted back-to-back sweeps at the Durham Bulls Athletic in their first two home series at the venue and are now 6-0 this season in the stadium.
  • Duke swept Fordham during the home-opening weekend (Feb. 26-28) and then won all three against Temple (March 5-8).
  • Duke is hitting .300 at the DBAP and averaging seven runs and 9.5 hits per game.
  • Duke's ERA is 1.83 at the DBAP with 60 strikeouts in 54.0 innings.
  • The Blue Devils will play 18 home games - six total series - at the park this season.

Streaking

  • Duke is on an eight-game winning streak heading into the Friday showdown against No. 14 North Carolina.
  • Duke has not lost since Feb. 21 when the Blue Devils fell to No. 22 Georgia.
  • During the win streak, Duke is hitting .298. The pitching staff boasts a 1.75 ERA, while the defense has made just four errors.
  • Duke has outscored the opposition 57-16 during that run.

Rising To The Occassion
  • Jeremy Gould boast a .519 batting average in seven games against North Carolina.
  • Gould has 14 hits, including three homers and two doubles, against the Tar Heels.
  • Gould was 8-for-11 in a three-game series against UNC in 2008 and 6-for-16 in four games against the Tar Heels in 2009.
  • Junior Jake Lemmerman and sophomore Will Piwnica-Worms also mashed their first career home runs in games versus the Tar Heels.

Last Time Against North Carolina

  • Duke got the best of UNC in last year's meeting, taking two of three in Chapel Hill, N.C.
  • Duke won game two of the series 5-4 and then took the rubber match 10-9.
  • The series win over UNC was Duke's first since 2001.
  • Duke seniors Matt Williams, Tim Sherlock and Andrew Wolcott came up big for Duke as Williams hit .583 in the series while Williams homered twice and Wolcott won game two with a one-run, seven-inning start on the mound.
  • Alex Hassan also hit .500 and notched two saves in the series.

The Carlyle Cup

  • This weekend's series is worth one point in the Carlyle Cup standings, which is the annual all-sports competition between Duke and North Carolina.
  • Duke took last year's point by winning two of three against North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
  • The Carlyle Cup is a yearly competition between the two schools that awards points for victories in each varsity sport in which that the two schools face eachother.
  • Duke currently trails North Carolina 10-6.5.
Shutouts Keep Coming
  • Duke has three shutouts in the past five games with wins of 3-0 and 7-0 over Temple and 5-0 over Quinnipiac.
  • The Blue Devils have allowed just five runs in those fives games for a team ERA of 0.80 during that span.
  • Duke's bullpen has allowed just one run in those games and has a 0.47 ERA.
  • Included in those games was a streak of 27 consecutive innings in which Duke's pitchers did not allow an earned run.
  • Opponents are hitting .211 against Duke during the five-game streak.

Loaded In The Bullpen
  • Duke's bullpen has been among the best in the ACC this season as the group is currently 3-1 with four saves and a 2.56 ERA.
  • Duke relievers have held the opposition to a .241 batting average while giving up just one home run in 45.2 innings.
  • Additionally, they have struck out 47 batters while walking just 18.
  • Thanks to that group, Duke is 7-1 when leading after the sixth inning and 8-0 when leading after the seventh.
  • The group has surrendered just one run in their past 19.0 innings (0.47 ERA).

Duke = Defense
  • Duke has not made an error in five straight games and leads the ACC with a .983 fielding percentage.
  • Duke ranked among the top five teams in the nation in defensive fielding percentage for the second straight year in 2009, posting a school-record .979 clip.
  • That clip broke the previous school record of .978 that Duke compiled in 2008 when the Blue Devils led the nation in the category.
  • Duke was the only team in the ACC to finish 2009 with more double plays (54) than errors committed (47).

Grisz-led Veteran

  • Sophomore Ben Grisz has emerged as Duke's top reliever in his second season.
  • Grisz, a 6-1, 220 pound right-hander, has not allowed a run in his past nine innings, which is a span of four consecutive appearances.
  • Grisz has thrown a team-high 12.0 innings in relief while holding a 1.50 ERA.
  • Grisz has walked just one batter while striking out 11. He is holding opposing hitters to a .261 average and has surrendered only one extra-base hit.
  • He also has not thrown a wild pitch this season.

McCurdy Makes Debut At Catcher
  • Duke senior Ryan McCurdy, who was converted from a 3B to catcher during the fall, made his debut behind the plate against Fordham.
  • McCurdy caught seven straight games before getting a day off on Tuesday against Quinnipiac.
  • With McCurdy behind the plate, Duke's pitchers have fired just five wild pitches. McCurdy has also allowed just two passed balls.
  • McCurdy was the best defensive third baseman in the ACC over the past two seasons, leading the position in fielding percentage both years.

Duke Freshmen Making Impact
  • Duke has used five different freshmen in the starting lineup, including 3B Eric Brady and 2B/RHP Marcus Stroman, who have both started at least 10 games.
  • Brady is hitting .277 with three doubles, a home run and six RBI, while Stroman is batting .273 with six stolen bases.
  • Stroman is also 2-0 with one save and a 2.25 ERA on the mound.
  • Freshman OF Mike Carroll has also earned eight starts and is hitting .385 with a .484 on base percentage.
  • On the mound, Duke has started freshmen Devin Burke and Chase Bebout, who both notched wins in a two-game sweep over Quinnipiac.

Gould Standard

  • Duke senior Jeremy Gould has emerged as one of the best pure hitters in the ACC.
  • Gould, a 6-4, 220 pound first baseman, has a career .336 batting average, 12 homers and 41 doubles in his four-year career.
  • Gould has hit at least .340 in each of the last two seasons, and is hitting .326 in 2010. 
  • Gould ranks tied for eighth all-time at Duke in career batting average.

Strength Of Schedule

  • The Blue Devils' 2010 schedule includes six top-25 opponents, according to the Baseball America or Collegiate Baseball Insider polls.
  • Four of those teams are ranked in the top 15 while a combined seven teams were preseason top-25 selections.
  • Nine opponents on Duke's schedule were NCAA Regional Teams.
  • Four advanced to a Super Regional.
  • Two - North Carolina and Virginia - played in the College World Series.

Gould, Ness Tabbed Preseason All-Conference
  • Duke seniors Jeremy Gould (1B) and Michael Ness (RP) were each named to the Preseason All-ACC Second Team by SEBaseball.com.
  • Gould was one of two first basemen in the second team, while Ness earned a spot as a closer on the second team.

Giant Killer
  • In 2009, Duke notched at least one win agianst every top-25 team they faced and finished 8-10 against ranked teams.
  • This season, Duke is 1-1 against the top 25 after splitting a two-game series with 22nd-ranked Georgia.
  • Duke won two series against top-10 teams last season, taking two of three from No. 1 North Carolina and No. 7 Georgia Tech.
  • This weekend's matchup will be the second of seven series the Blue Devils will have against ranked teams.

Cape Cod League
  • Duke baseball has sent several players to the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League over the past three seasons and will send four for the 2010 summer season.
  • In 2009, Duke had five players listed on Cape Cod League rosters after sending five the previous season.
  • In 2009, Jeremy Gould, Alex Hassan, Michael Ness, Eric Pfisterer and Jake Lemmerman all played in the CCBL.
  • Playing for the Wareham Gatemen was Eric Pfisterer and Jake Lemmerman.
  • Current senior left-hander Christopher Manno also played in the CCBL in 2008 and was an All-Star and All-League selection for the Harwich Mariners.
  • Senior Gabriel Saade and redshirt-junior Michael Seander also played in the Cape Cod League in 2008.

-d-u-k-e- 


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