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Earlier this week, Duke baseball coach Chris Pollard put together a video and showed it to his team.

The video highlighted major news events of 1961.

“I knew it was old … it was black-and-white, for one thing,” Duke senior Joey Loperfido said Saturday.

Loperfido said a teammate recognized the events and made the connection. That year, 1961, was the last time Duke won the ACC baseball championship.

Sunday afternoon, the Blue Devils get a chance to break that 60-year drought, when they face N.C. State at Truist Field in uptown Charlotte for the ACC tournament title. First pitch is set for noon, and the game will be on ESPN2.

Duke (31-20), the tournament’s ninth seed, advanced by beating eighth-seeded Virginia, 4-2, in Saturday’s first semifinal. Third-seeded N.C. State (30-16) then walloped second seed Georgia Tech, 8-1.

Sunday’s final is a matchup of teams that got off to poor starts.

Duke was 10-17 in ACC play as of March 8. N.C. State started 1-8 in the league but recovered sooner and ended the season as the ACC’s No. 3 seed and a No. 16 national ranking.

“It’s two teams that started rough, stuck with some things, and now are doing well,” Wolfpack coach Elliott Avent said.

N.C. State has won five ACC baseball championships since 1961, including four since the start of the league tournament in 1973 — although the Wolfpack hasn’t taken the title since 1993.

But that pales in comparison to Duke’s drought.

In 1961, the Berlin Wall was built, the Bay of Pigs Invasion failed in Cuba, and the Soviet Union sent the world’s first astronaut, Yuri Gagarin, into space.

“It was crazy, looking at the kinds of things that were happening in the world then, and realizing it’s been that long since Duke won the ACC,” Loperfido said.

Pollard said the Blue Devils’ first tournament game, Wednesday’s 12-1 rout of Florida State, was the clincher for an NCAA berth.

“Since Wednesday, this has been about winning the championship and bringing the hardware back to Duke,” Pollard said.

Avent was on hand Saturday to see the Blue Devils extend their winning streak to 11 games.

“They look awfully good,” he said. “They’re playing with a lot of confidence.”

Duke doubles up

Senior centerfielder Joey Loperfido hit two home runs and drove in three runs, and freshman starter Luke Fox pitched seven innings, scattering eight hits in the Duke victory.

Loperfido homered in the first inning off Virginia starter Mike Vasil, then joined Ethan Murray in hitting back-to-back shots in the third inning.

The Cavaliers (29-23) closed to 3-2 in the bottom of the third, but Duke scored in the fifth when Michael Rothenberg doubled and later scored on a Virginia error.

“I can’t say enough about his poise,” Pollard said of Fox, who quarterbacked a team to two high school football championships in Wisconsin. “He has that football toughness he brings to the mound.”

Wolfpack rolls

Wolfpack starter Sam Highfill went 6.1 innings, allowing only four hits, in earning the victory. Evan Justice pitched 2.2 innings of no-hit relief.

Tyler McDonough and Luca Tresh each homered for N.C. State, which put the game away by scoring four times in the last two innings.

“Sam Highfill was really, really good,” Avent said. “We haven’t played in front of a crowd this big all year, and that’s a shame. Anyways, a real competitor can block (the crowd) out, and that’s what Sam does.”

Just noting

Both games drew nice-sized crowds to Truist Field. Announced attendance for the opener was 3,964, with 4,960 on hand for the nightcap.

Duke and N.C. State will be meeting Sunday for the first time this season. They were scheduled for a three-game series March 12-14, but the series was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols.

Avent made a point during postgame comments to talk about longtime LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri, who announced Saturday that he was retiring after this season. Mainieri, who has coached for 39 years, ranks No. 1 among active coaches in career victories. “He’s had a remarkable career, and I want to wish him the best in retirement,” Avent said.

Steve Lyttle on Twitter: @slyttle