DURHAM, N.C.—I apologize for the infrequent updates, but the internet situation here at Durham Bulls Athletic Park has deteriorated as the crowd has swelled to see local rivals Duke and North Carolina go head-to-head. That’s because the wireless network is not password protected, and every Tom, Dick and Harry with a Blackberry or an iPhone is probably surfing the Web in the stands, eating up the bandwidth.
As you’d expect, this is the best crowd of the day—it’s the primetime matchup between two teams separated by just an eight-mile stretch of highway 15-501 (which runs directly behind the DBAP, as well). The seating bowl is mostly full from third base to first, and there are a number of fans down the lines as well. North Carolina fans out-number Duke fans by a wide margin, though Durham is technically the Blue Devils’ home town. There’s even a smattering of fans in the left-field bleachers, though UNC first baseman Dustin Ackley put their lives in danger in the first inning, launching a missile that landed to the left of the giant ACC tarp covering two of the bleacher sections. Then, in the sixth, Ackley homered again, a two-run shot into the second row of the left-field bleachers, closer to the line. That one tied Ackley for the ACC lead with 19 home runs. Ackley has stung the ball in all four plate appearances, singling to center field in his second at-bat and lining a ball off Duke starter Christopher Manno for a 1-4-6 fielder’s choice to drive in a run in the fourth. The Tar Heels lead 7-1 through six innings, as UNC senior righthander Adam Warren has limited the Devils to five hits.
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