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Duke baseball hosts Virginia Tech for final home ACC series of the season

Posted Thursday, May 10, 2007

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Durham, NC - The Duke baseball team will host Virginia Tech this weekend for their final home ACC series of the season at Jack Coombs Field. Friday’s game is set for 7 p.m., Saturday’s game will begin at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale is scheduled for 1 p.m. The Blue Devils enter the weekend with a 27-20 overall record and a 6-18 mark in the ACC while the Hokies are 21-26 and 5-19, respectively.

Big Improvement

Duke has won 12 more games (27) in 2007 than the team won all of last season (15). Duke’s 27 victories mark the second-highest win total over the last 10 years and the 11th-best win total in school history.

Last Time Out

Trailing 4-2 entering the top of the ninth of Wednesday’s game at UNC Greensboro, Duke scored three runs in the inning, highlighted by a two-run blast by junior Brett Bartles, for a 5-4 come-from-behind victory over the Spartans.

Sophomore Matt Williams singled up the middle to begin the ninth. Two batters later, Bartles drove an 0-1 offering to straightaway center for a game-tying two-run shot. It was the seventh home run of the season for Bartles and the 14th of his career. The home run was only the third long ball ever hit over the batter’s eye in deep center at UNCG Baseball Stadium which stands 410 feet from home plate. Freshman Alexander Hassan drew a walk following Bartles’ home run and freshman Gabriel Saade sent an RBI-triple to left center to drive in the eventual game-winning run.

Duke got on the board in the top of the eighth to make it a 4-2 ballgame. Saade drew a one-out walk before advancing to second on a passed ball. Two batters later, junior Jonathan Nicolla came in to pinch hit and belted a two-run jack to left center. It was the first home run of the season for Nicolla and the seventh of his career.

Scouting Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech enters the weekend series 21-26 overall and 5-19 in the ACC. The Hokies are 1-7 in ACC series this season. Virginia Tech opened conference play by winning two of three games against Georgia Tech March 9-11. The Hokies then dropped two of three to N.C. State and North Carolina in back-to-back weekends before being swept by Virginia, Clemson, Florida State and Miami over a four-week period. Tech then lost two of three to Boston College in their last conference series April 27-28. The Hokies head into the series coming off a 9-0 win over VMI on Wednesday.

Duke-Virginia Tech Series History

Duke holds an 18-14 overall record against Virginia Tech in series history. The Blue Devils took two of three games from the Hokies last year in Blacksburg, winning game two of the series, 15-1, and game three, 10-9. The two teams first met in 1907, when then-Trinity College routed the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 13-0.

A Look Ahead

Duke will play host to North Carolina A&T (21-29) next Tuesday at noon in their final home game of the year. The Blue Devils will wrap up the regular season with a trip to Miami (30-19, 12-12 ACC) May 17-19.

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