DURHAM — One of Duke baseball coach Sean McNally's dilemmas has been where to hit star first baseman Nate Freiman.
Freiman, a 6-foot-8 senior, entered the season with the third highest batting average (.381) among the ACC's returning starters.
Freiman hit 11 homers last year and drove in 46 runs, so it's understandable that McNally pondered the merits of hitting Freiman third or fourth last week.
"I wrestle with that one a lot," McNally said.
What McNally doesn't want, though, is Freiman stepping up to the plate with two outs and nobody on base if he bats third. But putting him back a spot could mean he gets one less at-bat, perhaps a crucial one at the end of a game.
So Freiman hit fourth.
"If we're scoring, he'll stay there," McNally said. "If we're not, shoot, he'll hit second."
Freiman went 1-for-4 in Duke's season opener on Friday, a 5-2 loss to LaSalle.
McNally didn't budge, and the numbers played out the rest of the series. Freiman finished the four-game series with five hits (two of them homers) in 13 at-bats. He also had seven RBIs, all in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader.