For the second straight weekend, Duke faced the first-place team in one of the ACC's two baseball divisions, and for the second straight weekend the Blue Devils were swept in a three-game series.
After falling to No. 14 Miami in Durham last weekend, Duke traveled to Tallahassee, Fla. for a set with the top-ranked team in the country, Florida State. The Blue Devils (8-21, 1-8 in the ACC) fell behind early in all three games and were never able to mount any serious comeback against the talented Seminoles (25-2, 8-1).
"Our guys are disappointed with our result," head coach Sean McNally said. "We played the No. 1 team in the country and played hard. We feel good about our effort and competed playing a team that was 25-2."
On the weekend, Duke was outscored 34-11. The Blue Devils lost 7-2 Friday, 12-4 Saturday and 15-5 Sunday. Duke has now lost eight games in a row.
McNally said it was not one specific aspect of the game that caused his team to lose. He said hitting, fielding and pitching all contributed to the outcomes.
"Overall we didn't play well enough in any of the three stages of the game to beat a team like Florida State," McNally said. "At this level you have to play well in every inning of every game."
The weekend got off to an auspicious beginning, with Florida State starter Bryan Henry throwing eight innings of no-hit ball before Blue Devil left fielder Daniel Palmer led off the ninth inning with a single.
Duke rallied to score two runs in the ninth, but it was not enough. The Seminoles had put up four unearned runs in the bottom of the second to go ahead, 5-0, and they did not look back as Henry went on to pitch his 12-strikeout gem.
Duke's starting pitcher, Danny Otero, allowed five runs-only one earned-in five innings Friday, dropping to 4-2 this year.
Florida State jumped out quickly again Saturday. The Seminoles scored two runs in the first, and designated hitter Jack Rye smacked a three-run homer in the bottom of the second to put his team up, 5-1.
Blue Devil catcher Matt Williams, who was 2-for-4 on the day, slapped an RBI single in the top of the third to close the deficit to two, but that is as close as Duke would get in the 12-4 loss.
On Sunday, Florida State rode the momentum from a six-run first inning on its way to the 15-5 victory. Florida State center fielder Shane Robinson, last year's National Player of the Year, reached on a two-base error to start the inning, and first-baseman Dennis Guinn homered to left to score the first two runs for the Seminoles.
During all three games, Robinson reached base as FSU's leadoff hitter and came around to score.
"There are a lot of good hitters in this league, and he's definitely one of them," McNally said.
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