Entering this weekend, the Duke Blue Devils were just 5-25 all-time against the Hurricanes and had never won a three-game series against Miami.
That streak ended Saturday night. Duke’s 9-2 win Saturday combined with a 4-2 win Friday to give the Blue Devils the series. The teams conclude their set at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Canes will start Andrew Suarez (1-1, 4.26 ERA).
The Canes fell to 12-4, 0-2 in the ACC. Duke is 8-6, 2-0.
“They kicked our butts,” UM coach Jim Morris said. “That’s the only way to put it. We have to play the game a lot better than we did [Saturday night].”
The Blue Devils pounded Canes pitching for 13 hits for the second night in a row, scoring one run in the first, three in the third and single runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh. Duke also added two runs in the eighth.
Canes starting pitcher Javi Salas, who entered Friday with a 2-0 record and a 0.51 ERA, was knocked out after just 3 2/3 innings. He allowed eight hits, two walks and five runs, all earned.
“He didn’t locate his pitches,” Morris said. “He was up, he walked some guys, and he was in trouble the whole time. You’ve got to get ahead of hitters, and he didn’t do that.”
Duke starter Drew Van Orden, who had a career record of 3-11 entering Friday, got his first win of the season (1-1), blanking the Canes on three hits before being lifted after six innings.
Relievers Nick Hendrix, Remy Janco and Sarkis Ohanian combined on the five-hitter. The Canes got their only runs in the ninth, scoring on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by Roger Gonzalez.
Besides the loss, the Canes also sustained an injury. In the fourth inning, a hard one-hopper by Duke’s Jeff Kremer struck Canes third baseman Brad Fieger in the face. Kremer was credited with a double, and the injured Fieger was removed from the game in favor of Esteban Tresgallo.
“He got hit right in the beak of his nose,” Morris said of Fieger. “I don’t think it’s broken. His teeth aren’t broken. There’s just a lot of blood, and it’s swollen. I don’t know if he will play [Sunday] or not.”
The Canes started four freshmen — designated hitter Grant Heyman, first baseman David Thompson, shortstop Brandon Lopez and left fielder Ricky Eusebio.
Heyman hit his first triple of the season, but that was one of the few Canes highlights. Here’s another: Relievers Jace Herrera and Ryan Otero made their Canes debuts and combined for 1 2/3 innings of shutout ball.
Duke coach Chris Pollard, in his first season with the Blue Devils, downplayed the win.
“I’m proud of our guys,” he said. “In a positive way, our guys are unaware of that history. And we don’t have much time to enjoy this — we have to get ready to play again.”
After Sunday’s Duke game, UM plays host to Illinois State on Tuesday and Wednesday before traveling to Chapel Hill to play No. 1 North Carolina next weekend.
UNC (13-0) beat Wake Forest 20-6 on Saturday, slugging eight homers.
“We got embarrassed today,” Morris said. “We have to worry about [Sunday’s game], and then we’ll worry about the next one.”