banner
Aaron Schoonmaker

Duke rebounds in ACC tourney with 'complete ballgame'

Posted May 22

— Duke “picked a great time to play the most complete ballgame of the year.”

That was how head coach Chris Pollard opened his postgame press conference following a 6-0 win in their second game of pool play at the ACC tournament in Greensboro.

Hard to argue – especially in contrast to the game the Blue Devils played the day before. Also hard to argue considering wins this weekend are what Duke needs if they have any hopes of making the NCAA tournament.

Once again, it all started on the mound for Duke as senior Drew Van Orden threw his first career complete game shutout. Asked what was working on the mound, Van Orden replied, “just everything.”

“Two words: Drew Van Orden,” said Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall before second-guessing himself and noting it is actually three words. “We couldn’t solve him. He was really the story of the game for me."

Van Orden’s final line: 9 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 SO, 121 TP.

“I struggled the last two weeks a little bit so it was good to try and come back and give the team everything I had and give them a chance to win," Van Orden said. “The defense played great behind me and coach called great pitches.”

But pitching has been the one thing that has kept Duke competitive all year. On Thursday the bats woke up in a BIG way.

A day after Pollard said their approach was awful, the team responded with perfect execution. Yes, there were 14 hits and three home runs, but it was more than that for the Blue Devils.

Pollard said Wednesday the game plan was to hit the ball on the ground and challenge the infielders. The team hit into just three ground outs. On Thursday, four of the first five hitters put the ball on the ground and sure enough, the second batter of the game, Andy Perez, got an infield single out of it.

“We had one of the most dialed-in rounds of BP today I can remember us having and guys worked hard to make adjustments,” Pollard said. “I thought our approach was very good.”

What’s even better for Duke, is they were able to finish. After blowing a 2-0 lead Wednesday, the Blue Devils piled on Thursday.

Duke took a 2-0 lead into the 7th inning against Georgia Tech. In each of the final three innings, the leadoff man reached base and in all three innings, the lead runner came around to score.

In all, four different Duke players recorded at least one RBI and five different Devils scored a run. Individually, Andy Perez went 3-for-5 with a home run and Ryan Deitrich stayed hot going 4-for-5 with a home run and two RBI’s.

“We got very timely hitting and we were very good with our situational hitting,” Pollard said.

And it would be hard not to point out the play of shortstop Kenny Koplove. Overcoming a tough day at the plate, the 6-spot was tested nine times Thursday – in the hole, up the middle, choppers, routine balls, every way possible. He was perfect and did it with a confident flair.

Even after their best game, however, Duke still needs help if they are going to make it to the championship game Sunday. Clemson controls their own destiny by virtue of winning their first two pool play games. Duke now needs to beat Miami Saturday and have Georgia Tech beat Clemson Friday in order to win a three-way tiebreaker (best regular season in-conference win percentage).

Next up for Duke is their pool play finale against Miami on Saturday at 11 a.m.

“We’ll spend the next 48 hours trying to put together a good plan,” Pollard said. ” We will practice, we will get in a workout in the weight room and use that tomorrow to try to carry forward into Saturday, and go out there and compete one pitch at a time.”

3 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • vt94hokies May 23, 2:18 p.m.

    Duke has had a great season. Basketball and football especially. Baseball is on the rise.

  • superflames May 23, 10:30 a.m.

    go get 'em boys

  • Duke1977 May 22, 10:02 p.m.

    “Two words: Drew Van Orden,” said Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall.

    "Two words?" LOL! Sounds like a Yogi Berra or Joe Biden comment.

  • US Open Tennis: Men’s Third Round & Women’s Fourth Round

    Today at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Norfolk

    Tonight at 5:00 on METV 50.2

  • US Open Tennis: Men’s & Women’s Fourth Round

    Tomorrow at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Norfolk

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • MiLB: Bulls at Norfolk

    Tonight at 5:00 on 620am

  • MLB: Cleveland at Kansas City

    Tonight at 8:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Seattle at Oakland

    Tomorrow at 4:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: Miami at Louisville

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
Final
TOR 2
NYY 0
Final
CWS 6
DET 3
Final
STL 1
CHC 5
Final
PIT 3
CIN 2
Final
BAL 3
MIN 2
Final
TAM 7
BOS 0
Final
KAN 2
CLE 3
Final
CWS 4
DET 8
Final
ATL 0
MIA 4
Final
NYM 2
PHI 7
Final
HOU 2
TEX 0
Final
ARI 0
COL 2
Final
STL 13
CHC 2
Final
SDP 2
LOS 1
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
ANA 2
OAK 0
Final
SEA 1
WAS 3
1:07pm Today
TOR
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
PHI
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
CIN
 
1:35pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:40pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
2:10pm Today
CWS
DET
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
TEX
 
2:15pm Today
STL
CHC
 
3:35pm Today
ANA
OAK
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
4:10pm Today
SDP
LOS
 
4:10pm Today
SEA
WAS
 
5:10pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:07pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
Final
MICH 52
APPST 14
Final
NAVY 17
OSU 34
Final
UAB 48
TROY 10
Final
UVA 20
UCLA 28
Final
PURD 43
WMICH 34
Final
NCSU 24
GASO 23
Final
UMASS 7
BC 30
Final
NW 24
CAL 31
Final
NEB 55
FATL 7
Final
UMO 27
MARS 42
Final
ND 48
RICE 17
Final
MIZZ 38
SDST 18
Final
ALA 33
WVU 23
Final
AUB 45
ARK 21
Final
STAN 45
UCD 0
Final
UGA 45
CLEM 21
Final
UNC 56
LBRTY 29
Final
KSU 14
OHIO 17
Final
OKLA 48
LATU 16
Final
KST 55
SAUST 16
Final
USC 52
FRES 13
Final
MSST 49
SMISS 0
Final
OKST 31
FSU 37
Final
TEX 38
UNT 7
Final
NMU 24
UTEP 31
8:05pm Saturday
UF 0
IDAHO 0
Final
LSU 28
WISC 24
Final
OREG 62
SD 13
Final
HAW 16
WASH 17
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
UTST
7:30pm Tonight
BAY
SMU
Final
DUKE 52
ELON 13
 
Final
ECU 52
NCCU 7
 
7:05pm Saturday
NOR 4
DUR 1
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR