FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Joey Loperfido’s professional career didn’t exactly get off to a rousing start.

“Coming back here and kind of getting to conquer this place has been fun and I’m looking forward to keep doing that,” said Loperfido.

The former Duke star is off to a fast start for the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, his batting average hovering in the high 280s. That’s a far cry from last summer when he played in just 19 games for the Woodpeckers after getting COVID and seeing his batting average sink to the low .100s.

“It’s awesome, it’s something you work for for a long time,” said Loperfido. “That’s always the goal to take that next step but it’s really just the start of the whole next journey.”

Loperfido’s journey to Duke was a smooth one.

A highly ranked prospect from New Jersey, Loperfido played an important role in helping Chris Pollard’s Blue Devils to the program’s best four-year run ever.

“Yeah, I mean coach (Duke head baseball coach Chris Pollard) preaches process and he preaches routine so, I kind of had that mindset going into it of knowing what works for me and knowing how to prepare myself every day to put myself in a position to be successful,” said Loperfido. “Those were two things he was really big about.”

Those qualities taught have stuck with Loperfido, helping him transition from the college game to the pros.

“Really just playing every day,” explained Loperfido. “In the ACC and Duke especially it’s elite baseball but you’re not playing every day, you’re not showing up to the ballpark every day.

“So just trying to find that groove of how to stay consistent and how to perform every day even when you may not feel at your best.”

Loperfido knows there will be highs and plenty of lows along the way, it’s just the nature of the sport.

“You know for me my dream’s to play in the big leagues and win in the big leagues,” smiled Loperfido.