banner
Duke

Duke baseball following football's lead

Posted May 13

When head baseball coach Chris Pollard began the daunting task of turning Duke's program around, he didn't have to look far to find inspiration.

"I've told Coach Cutcliffe he's laid a blueprint down for us that we can follow," said Pollard. "Every opportunity I can, I pick his brain."

Duke's newfound success in football has been a measuring stick for Pollard's baseball program. And just like the gridiron guys, Duke's diamond Devils are reaching new heights as well – their best season in 20 years.

"Coach Pollard always brought up a lot of Duke football, and Coach Cutcliffe's sayings that he's been telling his team lately," said pitcher Robert Huber.

"Yeah, I think we all took a little bit of inspiration from the football team, seeing them crack the top 25 this year and have a lot of success," said pitcher Drew Van Orden.

The parallels are hard to miss. Before their recent run, Duke's last winning season in football was in 1994, and their last bowl win came back in 1961. That's eerily similar to the baseball team, whose last winning season in-conference was also in '94 and their last NCAA Tournament bid also in 1961.

"A lot of times, I would come in to our fall practices, and I would say 'Hey, did you see that football game? You know, did you see what happened there?'," said Pollard.

"The culture of Duke is really getting exciting right now around campus for teams that generally struggle. They're turning it around," said Huber.

For both teams, success was a long time coming and now Duke's baseball program is following the football team's lead.

7 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Newest First
View all
  • Tar Heels Blue May 14, 9:18 a.m.

    Duke has done quite well with their three major men's sports teams: football, basketball, and baseball; this season. The hard part is to do it on a consistent basis. I hope they can. UNC and State have hit a bit of an uphill climb. State finishes the baseball season against VT and could make it a sweep. Duke and Carolina face a daunting task with Florida State and Miami respectively. Would love to see all three teams (State, UNC, and Duke) sweep their teams, but the odds of that happening are out of the ballpark. I would love to see numerous NC teams make the baseball playoffs....we'll see.

  • dave437 May 14, 10:17 a.m.

    Does this mean the Duke baseball team will cough up late leads in postseason play?

  • 903 Free Paul Frampton 2 May 14, 12:50 p.m.

    Does this mean the Duke baseball team will cough up late leads in postseason play?

    — Posted by dave437

    As in football, it means they will have had a better season than UNC...

  • Tar Heels Blue May 14, 1:21 p.m.

    903 THANKS JABARI...I'm not sure on what you based your comment; however, Duke is a half game ahead of UNC in the ACC standings and tied in the overall standings. Both teams will most likely make it to the NCAA baseball tournament and who knows what will happen there. Starting tomorrow both Duke and UNC have their hands full with two top teams nationally in the form of Florida State and Miami respectively. Anything can happen but at this point Duke and UNC sit about even in their season's accomplishments. I believe dave437 was questioning whether Duke might get a lead on a team in the playoffs and then lose focus as the football team appeared to do against A&M. Personally, I was hoping Duke would win the Bowl game as I am not an A&M fan and got rather tired of hearing about "Johnny Football". Anyway, there is a lot of baseball left what with the remaining 3 regular season games, the ACC tourney, and then NCAA tourney. Why not kick back and enjoy it and pull for the ACC!

  • 903 Free Paul Frampton 2 May 14, 2:41 p.m.

    903 THANKS JABARI...I'm not sure on what you based your comment; however, Duke is a half game... View More

    — Posted by Tar Heels Blue

    I based my comment on Duke sweeping UNC... like they did in football...

    http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/03/30/3746073/duke-baseball-sweeps-unc.html

    I thought smitty was the only long-winded blowhard UNC troll, guess not...

  • Tar Heels Blue May 14, 6:03 p.m.

    903 Thanks Jabari...I applaud the fact that Duke swept UNC in baseball, a great feat. That feat by itself does not guarantee that Duke will "have a better season than UNC". One series of games does not a season make, unless that is all you care about. Perhaps you did not pay attention to my positive comments about the Triangle teams; or maybe you are so unifocal on your comments you care less about what others have to say. I also noticed you lack or respect for others on this thread..."I thought smitty was the only long-winded blowhard UNC troll...." You have revealed your character by such comments. Nontheless, you are entitled to your opinions. While I am not a die hard Duke fan, I work for Duke and have had the pleasure of supporting our troops overseas with an endorsement from Coach K. Say what you will.

  • TarheelDynasty May 18, 10:45 a.m.

    903 Thanks Jabari...I applaud the fact that Duke swept UNC in baseball, a great feat. That ... View More

    — Posted by Tar Heels Blue

    #OUCH.

    Truth slaps hard.

  • ACC: North Carolina at Virginia

    Today at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tonight at 7:30 on FOX50

  • NFL: Seattle at Carolina

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Indianapolis at Pittsburgh

    Tomorrow at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Logan Zone with Steve Logan

    Today at 10:00 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • Big Ten: Michigan at Michigan State

    Today at 3:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
EDM 6
CAR 3
12:30pm Today
UVA
UNC
2:00pm Today
NCCU
SAVST
 
Final
SFG 2
KAN 3
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
ORL 92
DAL 117
Final
TOR 83
NYK 80
Final
MEM 98
MIA 104
Final
CHI 112
MIN 113
Final
HOU 96
SAN 87
Final
UTA 100
PHO 105
Final
LAL 92
SAC 93
Final
GSW 119
DEN 112
Final
LAC 89
POR 99
Final
CIN 34
SFLA 17
Final
SALABAMA 27
TROY 13
Final
BSU 55
BYU 30
Final
CAL 41
OREG 59
12:00pm Today
WISC
MD
12:00pm Today
SMU
MEM
12:00pm Today
ILL
MINN
12:00pm Today
RICE
UNT
12:00pm Today
NEB
RUTG
12:00pm Today
KST
TEX
12:00pm Today
ARK
UAB
12:30pm Today
UVA
UNC
1:00pm Today
EMICH
NILL
1:00pm Today
NAVY
SJST
2:00pm Today
BST
AKR
2:00pm Today
GASTATE
GASO
2:00pm Today
TOL
UMASS
2:00pm Today
WMICH
OHIO
2:00pm Today
COL
UCLA
2:30pm Today
UMO
KSU
3:30pm Today
WAKE
BC
3:30pm Today
BUF
CMICH
3:30pm Today
MARS
FATL
3:30pm Today
PITT
GT
3:30pm Today
SMISS
LATU
3:30pm Today
MSU
MICH
3:30pm Today
KENT
MSST
3:30pm Today
STAN
ORST
3:30pm Today
TCU
TTU
3:30pm Today
OKST
WVU
4:00pm Today
WKENT
ODU
4:00pm Today
UTST
UNLV
4:00pm Today
MIZZ
VANDY
5:00pm Tonight
UCF
TEMPL
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
TXSANANTO
UTEP
7:00pm Tonight
COLST
WYO
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
NJD 2
DAL 3
Final
WIN 2
TAM 4
Final
COL 7
VAN 3
Final
EDM 6
CAR 3
Final
ANA 4
CLB 1
4:00pm Today
SJS
BUF
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
DET
 
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
 
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
 
2:00pm Today
NCCU
SAVST