Coming off a series-win against then-No. 3 North Carolina, Duke headed to Atlanta this weekend looking to close out one of the best regular seasons in program history on a high note.

The Blue Devils, however, suffered a slight set back this weekend as they wrapped up their final regular season series of the year, taking just one of three games on the road against Georgia Tech.

Duke dropped game one by a score of 9-6 despite cranking four home runs as a team, two off the bat of junior center fielder Kennie Taylor, who also had three RBIs. Senior southpaw Mitch Stallings took the mound Thursday night, lasting only two and two-thirds innings after struggling to find any kind of rhythm. Stallings surrendered nine hits and three walks before handing the ball to Graeme Stinson in relief. It was a five-run third inning that plagued the Blue Devils, giving the Yellow Jackets a lead they would never relinquish. Despite the poor pitching performance, the Duke pitching staff got little help from the defense which committed four errors in the contest.

“Six runs we gave up with two outs, combined with the fact that we gave them some free bases...they’re too good of an offensive club for us to do that,” Duke head coach Chris Pollard told GoDuke.com. “We took some good swings but made some mistakes tonight that were uncharacteristic for us.”

Pollard’s club dropped another slugfest Friday afternoon, falling to Georgia Tech 20-7. The Blue Devils had no answer for sophomore first baseman Kyle McCann who collected four hits, four runs, and three RBIs in a 19-hit performance by the Yellow Jackets (31-25, 14-16 in the ACC). After jumping out to an early 3-0 lead, Duke fell victim to yet another five-run third, but this time it was only a preview of what was to come. The Yellow Jackets tacked on 12 runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth to break the contest open. 

Duke starter Ryan Day was responsible for eight earned runs with relievers Bill Chillari and Matt Mervis bearing the rest of the damage. 2018 MLB Draft preseason top-20 prospect Griffin Conine went three-for-four for the Blue Devils (39-14, 18-11), maintaining a scorching hot pace at the plate.

“We allowed a big inning to create some separation where we weren’t able to get back in it,” Pollard told GoDuke.com of the fifth inning. “The thing about baseball games like this—and I’ve been a part of a few of them—is they only affect you the next day if you allow them to.”

Pollard did not allow the two losses get into the heads of the Devils who picked up their 39th win in the series finale on Saturday, winning 12-5 and tying a school record for regular season wins in addition to setting a program record with 18 ACC wins. Pollard was able to get quality production up and down the lineup which collected 14 hits coming from 10 different players. Conine belted two more home runs adding five RBIs and five runs to surge his 2018 seasonal batting average to .280 with 15 dingers. Zack Kone also added three hits, with freshman Chris Crabtree adding two himself.

“We did a great job again with two outs all day today. I’m really, really pleased with how we’re swinging the bat with two outs,” Pollard told GoDuk.com, referring to Duke’s nine two-out hits. “A couple of those innings, we started out with two outs and nobody on, and then Zack [Kone] hits a double and Griff [Conine] walks, and all of a sudden we get a big hit from Max. We did a really good job of keeping our foot on the gas pedal”

The Blue Devils will continue their season as the fourth seed in the ACC tournament early next week, and will likely need a deep run in order to secure a critical host site for the NCAA tournament. As a member of Pool D Duke will face No. 9 Wake Forest Thursday at 11 a.m. and No. 5 Louisville Friday at 11 a.m. The team with the best record in the pool will advance to the semifinals Saturday.

“I’m really, really proud of the regular season that this club has had," Pollard told GoDuke.com. "Now the fun part starts."