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Duke Shows Off The Bats at the Beach


By Nicholas Dioli


Duke had one of the most anticipated weekend series in the ACC to start off the 2024 season, and it seems like the Blue Devils are riding the momentum from last season into this season.


The "Baseball at the Beach" or the "Kicken Chicken", as we like to call it here at CBC, featured the Duke Blue Devils, Indiana Hoosiers, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, and the George Mason Patriots. All of these teams were featured in the Regionals last year, so there was not an "easy day" for any team going into this round robin.


How did the Blue Devils do? Well, they came out of this weekend stretch 3-0 in what was not only one of the most impressive starts in the ACC, but maybe in the country.


Game 1 Duke vs Indiana


Game 1 for Duke featured one of the best pitchers in the ACC, Jonathon Santucci. He was nothing short of an impressive as he puts up a slash line of 5IP | 0ER | 4H| 7K| 2BB.


The bats? Nothing short of impressive as well. Alex Stone and Logan Bravo would go back-to-back for the first couple of home runs of the year giving the Devils a 3-0 lead. Bravo would go on to tally up three hits. Later, in the top of the 8th inning, Tyler Albright would smash a homer into left field giving Duke some breathing room and giving them the win.


Final Score: Duke 6 - Indiana 3


Game 2 Duke vs George Mason


Game 2 would feature starting pitcher Andrew Healy... but that wasn't the story.


Duke might as well have played at a little league ballpark as the lineup contributed ELEVEN (11) home runs against George Mason. Who lead the team? Freshman AJ Gracia with three.


Here are your contributors:


Gracia: 3 HR, 9 RBI

Morris: 2 HR, 4 RBI

Obee: 2 HR, 2 RBI

Clark: HR, 2RBI

Krewson: HR, 2RBI

Miller: Solo HR

Stone: Solo HR


Duke would tally up more home runs than George Mason had hits...


Final Score: Duke 23 - George Mason 5


Game 3 Duke vs Coastal Carolina


What a treat? We get to see a rematch of last years Regional in Conway, and it did not disappoint. Aidan Weaver would be on the bump for Duke. Weaver would hold the Chants to just two runs before being pulled in the fourth inning.


But the bats just continued to roll for the Blue Devils. Zach Morris would see only one pitch as he blasted an opposite filed home run to get Duke up 1-0. Later in the top of the third, Ben Miller would send a two run bomb into orbit giving Duke a 3-0 lead.


Duke's bats didn't stop there as they would end up with 12 hits to cap off the game.


Final Score: Duke 5 - Coastal Carolina 3


Summary


A lot of people did not know if Duke would continue their success from last year after being only one win away from Omaha in 2023. I think it is safe to say that Duke is not only a top team in the ACC, but in the country. Personally, they jumped the most spots in my Top 25. In fact, I have them at #10.


Opening up on the road, in a tough environment, against three Regional teams from 2023, including a team you played in the Regionals last year, is no easy task. But Duke's bats and arms made it look very easy.



Next up, Duke will host Liberty on Wednesday, and have a three game series against Northwestern.


*****


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