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Grant McCabe
Campbell, North Carolina A&T Await Duke This Week
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 03/25/2013
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DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke baseball team will hit the road for a pair of non-conference games this week, traveling to Campbell before heading to North Carolina A&T. The Blue Devils and the Camels meet for the second time this season Tuesday at 6 p.m., in Buies Creek, N.C., while Duke and North Carolina A&T meet for the first time in 2013 Wednesday at 6 p.m., in Greensboro, N.C.
The Blue Devil Network is set to provide an audio broadcast of both contests, available on Fans can also follow updates of each game via @Duke_BASE, the official Twitter account of Duke baseball.
The Blue Devils enter the week with a 12-12 overall record and 3-6 mark in conference play. Duke fell to Clemson, 7-0, in the series opener Friday before dropping an 8-4 decision to the Tigers in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader. The Blue Devils rallied in Saturday’s second contest, scoring three runs in the second and eight in the fourth to defeat Clemson, 13-1.
Clemson starter Daniel Gossett recorded the shutout Friday, leading the Tigers to the 7-0 victory over the Blue Devils. Gossett scattered five hits and faced the minimum in six frames, striking out three. Sophomore Trent Swart suffered his first loss of the season as the Blue Devil left-hander allowed five runs, three earned, on 11 hits over 5.1 innings. Junior Jordan Betts led the Duke offense, going 2-for-4 with a double and a single, while senior Jeff Kremer, junior Matt Berezo and redshirt sophomore Chris Marconcini recorded Duke’s remaining hits.
Duke took an early 2-0 lead in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, but the Blue Devils were unable to hold off Clemson in the end. The Tigers scored at least one run in each of the first five innings and defeated Duke 8-4. Duke’s one-through-five hitters went a combined 10-for-21 at the plate, led by three hits from Kremer. However, the Tigers utilized timely hitting and capitalized on three Duke errors to secure the win.
After falling by a combined score of 15-4 in the first two games, the Blue Devil bats exploded for 13 runs in the series finale. Duke plated three runs in second before the Blue Devils tallied a season-high eight runs in the fourth to open up the game. Sophomore Andy Perez was 2-for-2 with a double and three RBI in the frame, while Betts roped a two-out, two-run double down the left field line. In total, Duke sent 13 batters to the plate in the fourth, registering six hits and a pair of walks.
Perez continued his torrid hitting pace with five hits in 13 at bats over the weekend. The Duke second baseman is hitting .487 in conference games, a mark which ranks third among all ACC players, and is slugging .795 with five doubles, two triples and a home run.
Campbell (21-3, 5-1 Big South) brings a six-game winning streak into Tuesday’s matchup after sweeping conference opponent UNC Asheville. The Blue Devils are faced with the task of slowing a potent Camel lineup, which boasts a .328 team average and scores nearly nine runs per contest.
Duke and Campbell met earlier this season with the Camels claiming a 9-3 victory Feb. 27 at Jack Coombs Field. The Blue Devils led 1-0 early before Campbell scored five runs over the fourth, fifth and sixth frames. The Camels registered 13 hits, including six for extra bases, and had six players with multiple hits on the afternoon.
The two teams also met twice a season ago. Duke earned the 9-2 win in Buies Creek, N.C., while Campbell took a 10-4 decision in Durham. Overall, Duke leads the all-time series 17-13.
North Carolina A&T (7-15, 3-5 MEAC) looks to end a three-game slide this week as the Aggies dropped two games to conference opponent Savannah State before Sunday’s series finale was postponed. North Carolina A&T will face UNC Greensboro Tuesday prior to the matchup with the Blue Devils.
Duke and North Carolina A&T were originally set to meet Feb. 26 before inclement weather forced the teams to reschedule to Wednesday. The Blue Devils have taken seven of the past 10 meetings against the Aggies and hold a 34-5 advantage in the all-time series.
Duke returns to ACC action over the weekend, playing host to Boston College. Game times are 6 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.