Duke baseball’s MJ Metz is crushing the baseball — and only doing it on one good knee.
Playing with a torn ACL, Metz hammered three home runs for the Blue Devils as they powered their way past UNC Wilmington, 12-3, on Friday during the team’s NCAA Regional opener.
Metz had injured his knee during an ACC Tournament game on May 23, and it was unclear if he would suit up for Friday’s contest.
But with a strong round of batting practice, the graduate student was able to give it a go in the game against UNC Wilmington.
“I thought that I could help the team and that’s all I was trying to do,” Metz said, according to the Fayetteville Observer. “I told [head coach Chris Pollard] I wanted to give it a shot and that I’d let him know if anything changed. Just grateful for the way it all turned out.”
As the designated hitter, Metz mashed his three homers — the first time the feat was accomplished by a Duke player in over two years.
Metz got off to an inauspicious start, striking out in his first bat, but he blasted a game-tying home run to right field for the Blue Devils in the fourth inning.
In the next inning, Metz went hit the ball to almost the same exact spot to the opposite field for a two-run blast.
Metz capped off his day in the seventh inning when he mashed a no-doubt two-run bomb to left field for his third big fly.
Pollard was stunned but could not have been more impressed with his slugger.
“It kind of defies logic a little bit, but he’s an exceptionally tough person,” Pollard said, according to the Observer.
Metz, for the year, has 16 long balls with 45 RBIs and a gaudy .601 slugging percentage as Duke looks to advance in the NCAA postseason.