Losing six of their last seven contests, Duke will look to regain its groove as it takes a break from ACC play to host Southern Conference foe Davidson Tuesday at 6 p.m at Jack Coombs Field.
Tonight’s matchup will be the second meeting between the two North Carolina squads this season. The Wildcats (14-19) edged Duke (14-23) 2-1 in the first meeting of the year on March 27.
The Blue Devils’ first game against Davidson was one of their finer games defensively without Stroman on the mound. Freshman pitcher Nick Piscotty struck out a career-high seven batters and held the Wildcats to one hit in five innings. The Blue Devils’ inability to support their strong defensive play with offense, however, led to their undoing. Davidson was able to load the bases in the bottom of the seventh and score the eventual game-winning run on a wild pitch to pick up a pivotal home victory against an ACC opponent.
The Wildcat pitching staff held Duke to just four hits in the game. Blue Devil right-hander Drew Van Orden took the loss even though he only allowed two Wildcats to reach base.
In tonight’s game, Piscotty will have an opportunity to avenge Duke’s loss to Davidson from a few weeks ago. This time around, the Blue Devils will look to take advantage of a Wildcat lineup that lacks firepower at the plate. Davidson’s best hitter, senior outfielder Drew Gadaire, is the only player batting above .300 on the year. The Wildcats’ next best are Andrew Barna and Calvin Sigelbaum, who have averages of just .278 and .276, respectively. And as a team, head coach Dick Crooke’s club boasts a batting average of just .242 on the season.
Despite their offensive woes, the Wildcats are coming to Durham with some momentum. Davidson managed to sweep Wofford in a three-game series last weekend and did so by only scoring a total of eight runs in the three games, four of which came in the fifth inning of the series finale.
Two competing trends will come to head as the Wildcats have struggled on the road this year with a record of just 3-11, while Duke is looking for its first win in Durham since March 16.
After their matchup with the Southern Conference foe, the Blue Devils’ schedule does not lighten up. Duke will stay at home this weekend to host a three-game series against No. 23 Virginia, who will be fourth top-25 squad the Blue Devils have faced this season.