DURHAM – Duke is set to host Bucknell for a three-game series this weekend at Durham Bulls Athletic Park to continue its 15-game homestand to open March.
Duke (4-4) concludes its non-conference weekend streak this weekend by hosting Bucknell (2-4) for a three-game series this weekend at DBAP. The first pitching times are set at 4 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. The Blue Devils lead the all-time series 7-1 with the last meeting in February 2018. Head Coach Chris Pollard, in his 10th season at Duke, holds a 6-0 record against the Bison. All three contests will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra. Additionally, fans can tune into the radio to hear Chris Edwards on the Varsity app or at GoDuke.com/audio. After the weekend, Duke continues its 15-game homestand by hosting UMass Lowell in Durham for games Tuesday and Wednesday.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Friday, 4 p.m. – Varsity App (radio) – Live Stats – Watch – Tickets
Saturday, 3 p.m. – Varsity App (radio) – Live Stats – Watch – Tickets
Sunday, 1 p.m. – Varsity App (radio) – Live Stats – Watch – Tickets
Duke – Marcus Johnson (0-2, 4.66MPM)
Bucknell – Ben Magovern (0-0, 1.13 ERA)
Duke – Luc Fox (1-1, 4.35 mph)
Bucknell – Will Greer (0-0, 0.60 ERA)
Duke – Billy Seidl (0-0, 2.35MPM)
Bucknell – Austin Odell (1-1, 2.25 ERA)
MATCH DAY INFORMATION
Durham town center surrounding the DBAP will be very busy on Saturday with the Blue Bloods Rivalry Run 5K race and the Durham Bulls Fan Fest. The race is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. and the roads will be closed until nearly 11 a.m. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to alleviate parking issues and ensure they are in the stadium before the first pitch at 1 p.m. The Bulls Fan Fest will follow. the Duke baseball game in the DBAP.
THE WAIT IS OVER
When graduating student Trevor Johnson entered the game against VMI on February 19, he was a long time coming. A transfer from Dartmouth, Johnson missed the 2021 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and saw his 2020 season cut short. He made his first appearance in a college baseball game since Feb. 23, 2020, a full 727 days. Graduate student John Natoli was in a similar boat, seeing his first appearance on the mound against East Carolina since March 8, 2020 – 724 days.
Going into the season, a career 3-for-27 hitter, senior Damon Lux got the starting job in center field and showed why he was tasked with that role. Lux led the team over the weekend with five RBIs on Saturday against VMI, doing a bit of everything with two sacrifice flies, a single and a three-run home run.
JOHNSON TAKES ON A NEW ROLE
After an impressive year as Duke’s closest, junior Marcus Johnson is expected to be the Friday night starter for the Blue Devils in 2022. Johnson will make his first opening weekend start after posting a 3.05 ERA with five wins and seven saves out of the bullpen the last year. He made 30 appearances, ranking in the top 10 in program history, and mustered a .93 WHIP and .196 opposing batting average. He showed excellent control and pounded the strike zone, allowing the fewest hits and second fewest walks in the conference with a minimum of one inning pitched per game.
SCHRECK’S OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION
Senior RJ Schreck enjoyed one of the best offensive seasons in program history in 2021, bursting onto the scene for the Blue Devils. The Los Angeles, Calif., native has homered 18, good for fourth in program history, and a .635 save percentage, ranking ninth in school lore. A third-team All-ACC and second-team ABCA All-Atlantic selection, Schreck also hit three home runs against Wright State in the 2021 Knoxville Regional, becoming the first Blue Devil to hit three home runs in a game since 2015. Schreck enters the season on the Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger Watch List.
UNUSUAL PATH TO DUKE
Graduate student Caleb McRoy joined the Blue Devils in January and had an unusual path to Duke’s roster. No stranger to Durham, McRoy was a member of North Carolina Central’s baseball program but found himself looking for a new home after the school announced it would be discontinuing the program after the 2021 season. McRoy, a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, joined Duke, who he had faced four times in his career. Against the Blue Devils, McRoy allowed just one run on three hits and a walk while striking out 11 in seven innings of work.
HIGHLY ANTICIPATED INCOMING CLASS
Duke’s incoming class of 12 freshmen and four grad transfers was ranked ninth by Baseball America, the highest-ranked class in program history. Freshmen Alex Mooney, Jonathan Santucci and Devin Obee, who are each ranked in the top 50 freshmen nationally by Perfect Game. The Blue Devils were the only school in the standings with two players in the top 10 and three players in the top 50.
THE SOFTNESS OF HOME
Graduate students Chris Crabtree and Wil Hoyle poured blood, sweat and tears into the Duke program after watching it grow in their backyard. Hoyle, a Durham native, and Crabtree, a Bahamas native, are no strangers to the Duke program and grew up side-by-side in Durham high school baseball. Now the duo are co-captains of the 2022 squad after leading the Blue Devils to all-time highs in their careers.
ON THE BIG SCREEN
ESPN has announced that the Blue Devils will appear on ACC Network six times this season. Additionally, two Duke games will air on regional sports network Bally Sports.
Network Opponent Date
March 12 Virginia ACCN
March 19 North Carolina ACCN
March 23 Presbyterian ACCN
March 25 at Florida State’s ACCN
April 24 at Georgia Tech ACCN
May 14 NC State RSN
May 15 NC State RSN
May 19 at Virginia Tech ACCN
STRONG SLATE IN 2022
The Blue Devils once again have a tough roster ahead of them in the 2022 campaign. Of the 56 games on the schedule, 28 games feature one of 11 opponents who have reached the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Duke will host two three-game series with opponents who reached the College World Series in NC State and Virginia. The Blue Devils will play non-conference home games with Liberty, East Carolina and Campbell.
POLLARD ELECTED TO ABCA EXECUTIVE BOARD
Duke’s Head Coach Chris Pollard was elected president of the Division I Executive Committee of the American Baseball Coaches Association. Pollard, entering his 10th season as head coach of the Blue Devils, was elected by his peers Jan. 6 to the NCAA Div. I Coaches Meeting at the 2022 ABCA Convention held in Chicago. He succeeds John McCormack of Florida Atlantic.