DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke baseball team is heading to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1961 after receiving an at-large bid to the postseason event Monday. The Blue Devils will travel to Columbia, S.C., for the NCAA Columbia Regional.
The Blue Devils open tournament play against UNC Wilmington on Friday at 1 p.m. The host Gamecocks face Atlantic 10 champion Rhode Island on Friday at 7 p.m.
Duke has never faced any of the three teams in Columbia during NCAA Tournament action. The Blue Devils hold an all-time 55-34-1 advantage against the Gamecocks, but the foes have not met since 2000. UNC Wilmington leads Duke 22-11-0 in series history, which had the last meeting in 2006. Duke is 2-0 versus Rhode Island, with the two contests being a doubleheader in 1922.
The winner of the Columbia Regional advances to play the champion of the Clemson Regional in an NCAA Super Regional. The Clemson Regional consists of the host Tigers, Oklahoma State, Nebraska and Western Carolina.
After beginning the season 10-13 (1-7 ACC), the Blue Devils went 23-9 (13-8 ACC) over their final 32 games, including a 9-2 mark since May 1. During that stretch, Duke earned series victories over Georgia Tech, No. 7 national seed Clemson, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Pitt while posting a perfect 10-0 mark in non-conference play.
Duke is making its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. The Blue Devils are 18-12 all-time in the postseason event and advanced to the College World Series three times (1952, 1953 and 1961).
Duke was one of 10 ACC members to earn a bid to the postseason, joining Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami, N.C. State, Virginia and Wake Forest.
A limited number of NCAA Columbia Regional booklets are now available to the general public. A booklet includes tickets for all games in the Regional, which will be held Friday, June 3, through Monday, June 6. Booklets are available for $77 each and are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Fans purchasing the booklet will secure their actual seat locations at the time of the purchase.
Single game tickets for Regional games will go on sale Monday, May 30, at 10 a.m. Single game tickets will be sold for $15.
To purchase Regional tickets, visit www.GamecocksOnline.com/tickets, or call 803-777-4274 or 800-4SC-FANS (800-472-3267). NCAA postseason regulations state that every person entering the stadium must have a ticket.
2016 Columbia Regional Schedule (All Times Eastern & All Games on ESPN3)
Friday, June 3
Game 1 - No. 2 UNC Wilmington vs. No. 3 vs. Duke - 1 p.m.
Game 2 - No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 4 Rhode Island- 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 4
Game 3 - Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 – 12 noon
Game 4 - Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2 – 6 p.m.
Sunday, June 5
Game 5 - Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 – 12 noon
Game 6 - Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 4 – 6 p.m.