UNC, NC State baseball game at DBAP won't be rescheduled

acarter@newsobserver.comApril 24, 2014 

NCSUUNC01-SP-041514-RTW

Nine-year-old Benjamin Marsh of Fuquay-Varina, N.C. walks the concourse in the rain, wrapped in his N.C. State blanket with his father Mike Marsh and brother Zach Marsh, 11, as they wait for the start of the N.C. State vs. North Carolina baseball game on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C. The 7 p.m. game was delayed and then postponed.

ROBERT WILLETT — rwillett@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

CORRECTION: Some previous versions of this article had the wrong acronym for the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in the headline. Corrected on Friday, March 25, 2014.

The Duel at the DBAP is no more. The North Carolina and N.C. State baseball teams won’t play during the regular season.

The schools announced Thursday that their one scheduled game, called off because of rain, won’t be made up. The Tar Heels and Wolfpack had been scheduled to play April 15 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, and a sold-out crowd of more than 10,000 was expected.

Now, those tickets can be traded in for a ticket to a Durham Bulls home game, or a Team USA game at DBAP.

“I’m disappointed for our team and fans,” N.C. State coach Elliott Avent said in a statement. “We were excited for the opportunity to compete again on the biggest stage in the state of North Carolina.

“Despite our best efforts, we couldn't reach an agreement on a make-up date.”

The Tar Heels and Wolfpack created unprecedented local interest in college baseball last season. They played a memorable 18-inning game in Durham – UNC finally prevailed 2-1 – and then both teams advanced to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

This season, though, has been more of a struggle than either team expected. N.C. State has lost six of its past nine games, and the Tar Heels have lost four of their past seven. Both teams will enter the weekend with losing records in the ACC.

Even so, their game in Durham had been highly anticipated. Avent and Mike Fox, the UNC coach, had hoped the only regular-season game between their teams would help them build on what they created last season.

“Obviously, we are disappointed that we weren’t able to find a way to reschedule,” Fox said in a statement. “Playing at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, especially during last year’s ACC championship run, has been an incredible experience for our players and a lot of fun for our program.

“Unfortunately for our players, coaches and fans, the weather didn’t cooperate.”

Had it been played, the game would not have counted in the ACC standings. Because of a scheduling quirk, N.C. State and UNC rotated off each other’s conference schedule this season, but the league has since adopted a permanent partner model that will ensure an annual N.C. State-UNC series.

This will be the first time since 1918 that UNC and N.C. State won’t play during the regular season.

Carter: 919-829-8944; Twitter: @_andrewcarter

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