Duke baseball gets first weekend series win in a month, defeating Virginia

The Blue Devils are back on track after dropping a few series
NC State v Duke
NC State v Duke / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

In another Top-15 conference match-up, the Duke baseball team won its first weekend series since upsetting then-No. 1 ranked Wake Forest.

The Blue Devils, ranked No. 11 in the D1baseball.com rankings, took two out of three games against ninth-ranked Virginia.

Duke started the scoring in the first game, recording two doubles to left center in the 1st inning. Ben Miller got the first double, then Logan Bravo would drive Miller home to give Duke an early 2-0 lead.

The Cavaliers cut the lead in half with a Henry Godbout single, sending Henry Ford home.

The Cavaliers would allow Duke to score four runs in the 4th inning, starting with Wallace Clark scoring on a single by Devin Obee. Miller would finish the day 3-for-5 with two RBI, raising his batting average above .450 on the season.

“We felt like we were really good in all three phases,” head coach Chris Pollard said of Duke’s 9-4 victory. “What I was most impressed with, was I thought it was our best game of communicating.”

Jonathan Santucci got his fifth victory of the season, striking out six Cavaliers in five innings of work. Virginia starter Cullen McKay would be pulled after 3.1 innings, giving up six earned runs on five hits. Three of Duke’s final four runs were scored off sac flies.

Virginia’s offense would get off to a strong start on Friday, scoring five runs in the first three innings to give the Cavaliers the victory 7-3.

Ryan Higgins would get the loss, allowing six earned runs in three innings of work. Tim Noone was able to subdue the Virginia offense, but the offense couldn’t catch up. Outside of an Alex Stone single scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth, Duke could not get any runners on base.

“I am really proud of the job our relief staff tonight,” Pollard said. “Not only did [Noone] keep us in the game and give us a chance, but he also kept our bullpen fresh for tomorrow.”

Miller would also extend his hitting streak to eight games, going 2-for-4 while scoring twice.

In the series finale, Duke overcame a 2-0 deficit when Logan Bravo hit a two-run shot to left center field to tie the game at two. That home run was Bravo’s sixth of the season.

The Cavaliers regained the lead in the 7th inning off a Henry Ford double, but Duke would bat around in the bottom half of the inning. Duke would score five runs to put the game out of reach.

Despite striking out five batters in four innings pitched, Andrew Healy got his fourth no-decision of the season. Edward Hart got his first decision of the season while facing only one batter, forcing Harrison Didawick to ground out.

Duke improved to 20-8 (6-6 ACC) on the season as they prepare to travel to Liberty for the second meeting this season. The Blue Devils won the first meeting, 4-2, on February 21.