Duke Blue Devils news: Baseball beats UNC, Softball opens NCAA Tournament, more

In today's news roundup, we look at NCAA tournament action for several Duke programs and a big win over UNC for the Blue Devil baseball squad.
Duke v Miami
Duke v Miami / Eakin Howard/GettyImages

Here is your Duke Blue Devils news roundup for May 17, 2024.

Duke baseball takes series opener from Tar Heels

Thursday, the No. 11 Duke baseball team opened up its final regular-season series by taking down No. 7 North Carolina 5-3 in Durham. The win is the seventh over a top-10 opponent this season for the Blue Devils.

The star of the game was freshman starting pitcher Kyle Johnson. Working six-plus innings and striking out a career-high eight hitters, he didn't allow a hit until the top of the sixth when he was touched for a solo homer. In all, he allowed three runs on three hits over the course of 82 pitches.

At the plate, Alex Stone was the hero. The Duke catcher drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning by hitting his 40th career double to score AJ Gracia from second base.

Reliever Charlier Bilenson picked up the win working the final three innings of the game and giving up no runs and only one hit. He is now 6-2 on the season.

The two teams continue their important ACC series today and Saturday. First pitch on Friday has been moved up to 2 p.m. Eastern and first pitch on Saturday is set for 1 p.m.

Duke softball opens NCAA Tournament on Friday

Seeded No. 10 overall, the Duke Blue Devil softball team opens the NCAA Tournament on Friday against the Morgan State Bears at 2:30 pm in Durham. It is only the third time in program history that the Blue Devils have hosted a regional.

At noon on Friday, Utah will face South Carolina with the winner of that game facing the winner of Duke and Morgan State at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The losers of Friday's games will meet at 1:30 pm on Saturday in an elimination contest.

Duke women's golf to compete in NCAA Championship

Friday, the No. 9 Duke women's golf team will begin play in the NCAA Championship in Carlsbad, California. The Blue Devils are making their 34th appearance at the NCAA Championship.

"I'm excited," said senior Phoebe Brinker.  "I think that driving is going to be a big thing this week. So, hitting a lot of fairways and making a decision whether to lay back or really go for it off the tee will be huge, but other than that, it's a great golf course. We all played great today and we're ready."

Duke opens play at 3:55 p.m. Eastern on Friday and will then tee off again on Saturday at 10:35 a.m. Eastern. The event runs through Tuesday, May 22 with the top 15 teams advancing to Monday and the top eight playing in the final round.

Duke Men's Lacrosse advances in NCAA Tournament

Following a dominating 19-7 win over Utah on May 11, the Duke men's lacrosse team is set to take on Maryland in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday. The No. 2 Blue Devils and No. 10 Terrapins will face off in Hempstead, New York at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.

The two programs have met 82 times, no surprise given that they were long-time ACC rivals. This is the eighth time they will play one another in NCAA Tournament action. The winner will advance to Philadelphia to face the winner between Johns Hopkins and Virginia in the national semifinals.