Duke baseball finding success with culture change
Posted April 29, 2014
In the midst of a nine-game winning streak, things are starting to feel a little bit different for Duke baseball.
"You can really tell that the culture of this team is changing," said Duke pitcher Robert Hubert. "People are excited."
They’re excited because Duke is winning in the ACC. The Devils are 15-and-9 in conference play, one win away from locking down only their second winning season in-conference play in 51 years.
"Believing has a lot to do with it. Confidence is huge. Right now we definitely have a lot of confidence as a team going into every weekend," said Duke pitcher Drew Van Orden.
At the core of Duke’s success, a new attitude instilled by 2nd-year head coach Chris Pollard and a group of seniors who bought in to the program’s potential.
"We're seeing the dividends of that buy-in and the guys believing in the process," said Pollard. "And now that they are starting to see the wins come, now it's got some momentum to it."
"Baseball's a mental game. We've been down in the past and we wouldn't really have the will to fight back, and this year we've really turned that around. It doesn't matter the situation," said Duke outfielder Mark Lumpa.
"The culture change has been immense, with the coaching staff change. It's just a very loose feel and once we tasted a little bit of success we just went off and ran with it," said Duke catcher Mike Rosenfeld.
The Blue Devils have already wrapped up their first ACC tournament spot since 2009, and they now have their sights on an NCAA Tournament bid, something that hasn’t happened for Duke since 1961.