Duke headed to first-ever ACC final after beating Virginia

Published 6:44 pm Saturday, May 29, 2021

Joey Loperfido hit two home runs with a double and a base hit to help lift Duke past No. 8-seed Virginia 4-2 on Saturday to send the Blue Devils to their first-ever ACC Tournament championship appearance.

The ninth-seeded Blue Devils (31-20) have now won 11 straight and advance to play Saturday’s winner between No. 2-seed Georgia Tech and third-seeded North Carolina State on Sunday.

Loperfido, a leadoff left-handed senior, started the game with an opposite field homer and proceeded to do the same thing in the top of the third inning. It was the first multi-homer game of his career.

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Ethan Murray followed Loperfido’s homer with his own solo shot to give Duke a 3-0 lead.

Alex Tappen put the Cavaliers (29-23) on the board with a solo shot in the bottom of the third, and an inning later reduced the deficit to 3-2 when Logan Michaels singled through the right side to score Kyle Teel. The inning ended when Tappen flied out to right field with runners on second and third.

Luke Fox spread eight hits over seven innings and struck out seven without a walk for the Blue Devils.