Duke captures 2021 ACC Baseball Championship title
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (DUKE) – Duke continued its historic run Sunday as the ninth-seeded Blue Devils captured a 1-0 victory over third-seeded NC State to claim the program’s fourth ACC Baseball title and first in 60 seasons.
The Blue Devils’ ACC Baseball Championship title was Duke’s first under the current tournament format. The programs first three titles came in 1956, 1957 and 1961, prior to the establishment of the tournament in 1973.
Three Blue Devils were named to the ACC All-Tournament team as seniors Joey Loperfido and Michael Rothenberg as well as junior Cooper Stinson all received the honor after the game at Truist Field. Loperfido was also named the MVP of the tournament.
The game-winning run came in the fourth inning when graduate student Peter Matt registered a sacrifice fly to score junior Ethan Murray from third. Murray doubled to start off the frame before shifting to third and then home on back-to-back fly out.
Stinson got the starting nod on the mound Sunday and boasted his best start of the season. The Peachtree Corners, Ga., native finished with six innings of scoreless baseball allowing just three hits during his time on the hill. He led the Blue Devils with six strikeouts as well.
Sophomore Marcus Johnson, who pitched in relief during all four of Duke’s ACC tournament games, shut the door on the Wolfpack to earn his second save of the postseason event. The Fontana, Calif., product has been lights out for Duke as of late, giving up just six hits while striking out 14 in 13.1 innings of scoreless baseball. Redshirt sophomore Jimmy Loper was stout on the mound as well, coming in for relief of Stinson, allowing only one hit in 1.2 innings of work.
Duke, who is set to make its ninth appearance in the NCAA tournament, awaits its regional placement as the selection show is set for Monday at noon on ESPN2.
- Duke improves to 30-61 all-time at the ACC Championship.
- Duke recorded its first win over NC State in the ACC Championship since 1983.
- Loperfido tallied his team-leading 17 double of the year.
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