The Birdballers are still going strong this summer. Despite a heat wave and unpredictable weather that could fry an egg or wash it away, we continue to highlight (or lowlight) some of Boston College's summer baseball players. Here's a look at four Eagles - three newbies to our feature and one repeat offender who's really starting to make some waves:
John Hennessy (North Shore Navigators, Futures Collegiate Baseball League)
In 12 games this year, Hennessy has 12 hits. He's the second leading hitter on the Navs this summer, with a .333 batting average, seven runs scored, one double, one triple, and four RBI. He went 3-for-4 last week in a 6-3 loss to the Pittsfield Suns.
This is good for the Eagles, who clearly regressed at the dish last year. But it needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Most of the players in the FCBL are local New Englanders not chosen for the Cape Cod Baseball League or the New England Collegiate Baseball League. Last week's pitcher and batter of the week for the FCBL were from Western New England University (a Division III school) and UMass-Lowell, whic was Division II until reclassifying on July 1st. So if you're going to be playing in the ACC, you probably shouldn't struggle against the Little East Conference players.
Chris Shaw (New Bedford Bay Sox, New England Collegiate Baseball League)
While we'd try to avoid looking at guys we've already looked at, Shaw continues to be a revelation. He played in the FCBL right out of high school last summer, and he's killing it in the NECBL this year as a freshman. This puts him in line to be the centerpiece of the BC lineup as a sophomore before either heading back to the NECBL or to the Cape League next summer, barring injury or a stunt in development.
In 16 games, Shaw has 18 hits, of which five are for extra bases. He's driven (and we mean driven) two doubles, and he hit a solo homer in the 4-2 win over Keane last week on the 27th, his second homer of the year. He has 12 RBI and is on pace to have a memorable summer. BC will get two more years out of him before he's draft eligible, and there's no reason why he can't come back competing for ACC hitting supremacy next season at this rate.
Steve Green (Danbury Westerners, New England Collegiate Baseball League)
Green's starting to develop as a pitcher, and if his first start of the summer is any indication, he should be able to get some quality innings in. He threw an inning in each of his first three appearances out of the bullpen before Danbury chose to give him the start last week. He went 6.0 IP against North Adams on the road, allowing only one earned run on five hits while striking out six and walking only two. His 1.56 WHIP was the best outing of the summer to date, even though he exited with a no decision and Danbury lost, 4-3. His six K's elevated his strikeouts-to-walks ratio to just under 2:1.
Stephen Sauter (Nashua Silver Knights, Futures Collegiate Baseball League)
Rough summer for Sauter, one of the catchers who'll be competing for Matt Pare's old job. Of course, a .182 batting average isn't helping things. In 10 games, he has only six hits, and he's struck out 11 times compared to three walks. But at least two of the six hits are doubles, and he did go 2-for-6 in his last two games, including a 1-for-2 performance with a run scored in the 10-0 win over North Shore. Still, given what we said about Hennessy and the FCBL, there needs to be improvement out of this guy as the summer progresses.