After a long week of exams, the Boston College baseball team will get a break from hitting the books this weekend when they take on the Quinnipiac Bobcats in a three game series in Chestnut Hill. While the rest of the ACC will spend the weekend beating up on each other, the Eagles, who most recently took one of three games from Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, will play four non-conference games in the next four days before hosting the Notre Dame Fighting Irish next weekend to close out the regular season. Though BC is currently battling for a spot in the ACC Tournament, this weekend’s games will have no bearing on that race whatsoever, but instead will be used by the Eagles to try and inch closer to a .500 record for the season. Let’s take a look at this weekend’s action:
She Field, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
Saturday, May 13th @ 12pm ET vs. Quinnipiac
Saturday, May 14th @ 4pm ET vs. Quinnipiac
Sunday, May 14th @ 12pm ET vs. Quinnipiac
Sat: BC: So. RHP Jacob Stevens (4-6, 5.35 ERA) vs. QU: Jr. LHP Chris Enns (4-2, 2.14 ERA)
Sat: BC: So. LHP Dan Metzdorf (3-5, 4.24 ERA) vs. QU: Jr. RHP Taylor Luciani (4-5, 3.35 ERA)
Sun: BC: Jr. RHP Brian Rapp (2-3, 4.05 ERA) vs. QU: Jr. RHP Robbie Hitt (2-3, 4.83 ERA)
How to Watch/Listen:
What you should know about the Quinnipiac Bobcats:
Third-year Head Coach John Delaney and his Quinnipiac team have endured a challenging season to-date, as they enter this weekend’s action with an overall record of 17-28, including a 10-11 mark in the MAAC, good for sixth in the conference. The Eagles and Bobcats have not played since 2010 when they met in Chestnut Hill in a game in which BC earned the victory by a 6-1 score.
Offensively, Quinnipiac is batting .255 as a team through 45 games this season, while striking out a combined 329 times. At the top of the Bobcat offense is infielder Matthew Batten who leads the team with a .318 batting average. The senior is also first on the team in doubles, with 13, and second in RBI, with 24. Behind Batten is outfielder/pitcher Brian Moskey who is second on the team with a .302 average and has also added three homeruns and 23 RBI in 44 starts this year. The biggest power threat in the Quinnipiac lineup is first baseman Liam Scarfariello. The sophomore is only batting .261, but he leads the team by a huge margin with 16 homeruns and 37 RBI. The sophomore is slugging at an impressive .621 clip. While the Bobcat offense does not necessarily jump off the page, the Boston College pitching staff will need to be sharp this weekend to win the series and, at the very least, should use this weekend to ready themselves for Notre Dame.
On the mound, Quinnipiac has struggled somewhat this season, amassing a 5.64 team-ERA, allowing opposing hitters to bat nearly .300 off them. Though Quinnipiac’s overall pitching statistics aren’t great, juniors Chris Enns and Taylor Luciani will present tough challenges for the Eagles’ lineup this weekend, as the left-handed Enns is 4-2 on the season with a 2.14 ERA and the right-handed Luciani has earned a 3.35 ERA in 48.1 innings pitched. It is probable that BC will see junior reliever Mike Davis during the series, as he is, without a doubt, Quinnipiac’s best bullpen arm. The 6’5 righty has made 17 appearances the season, all in relief, and has compiled a 0.42 ERA with eight saves. Expect to see Davis on the mound at some point, even if the Bobcats are trailing.
What you should know about the Boston College Eagles:
Despite entering the final week of the regular season with a 19-26 overall record, including an 8-19 mark in the ACC, Mike Gambino has his team in position to play their way into the postseason, and with seven games left, perhaps end the regular season with a .500 record. As mentioned previously, the BC baseball team was off this week as they took their final exams, and have not played a game since last Sunday when they dropped a hard-fought 5-2 decision to Wake Forest on the road.
For the last month, the Eagles have been hitting nearly .250 as a team, with certain individuals beginning to catch fire as of late. One such player is catcher Gian Martellini, who is in the midst of a career long 12-game hitting streak that has seen him up his average to .304 for the season. The sophomore also leads the team in homeruns, with four, and RBI, with 31. Also continuing to put the ball in play is utility-man Jake Alu, who is hitting .319 in 37 starts on the year. The sophomore has also added seven doubles and 15 runs batted in to help the Eagles’ cause. Donovan Casey, a two-way standout, is the only player to start all 45 games this season and, in that time, he has been solid, hitting .276 with a pair of homeruns and 18 RBI. The junior righty has also appeared in 17 games on the mound, earning a 4.03 ERA with five saves in 22.1 innings pitched.
On the mound, the Eagles find themselves in the bottom half of the ACC with a 5.27 team-ERA and have allowed opposing teams to bat .265 off them. As has been the case since early March, Mike Gambino will send out the usual rotation of Jacob Stevens, Dan Metzdorf, and Brian Rapp to face the Bobcats this weekend. While Stevens was expected to be the workhorse of the staff this year, both Metzdorf and Rapp have been pleasant additions to the weekend rotation and have shown flashes of dominance this season. Last weekend Metzdorf held the potent Wake Forest offense scoreless for six innings in a solid outing and, two weeks prior to that, Rapp threw a complete game shutout against NC State to sweep the Wolfpack in a series that may end up pushing the Eagles into the postseason. Look for all three to be aggressive toward the Bobcat lineup this weekend.
I know it has only been six days, but it feels like weeks since we last saw the Boston College baseball team in action at Wake Forest. As noted above, the Eagles were able to take a game from the Demon Deacons in that series and, in so doing, kept their postseason hopes alive. If you’ve followed the blog, you’ve seen our breakdown of BC’s postseason scenarios and, while we may all be anxious to get to next weekend to take on the Fighting Irish, the Eagles need to take care of business against Quinnipiac this weekend, first. Mike Gambino mentioned in his weekly press conference that Saturday morning will actually be the first time the team will be on the field together since Sunday’s game at Wake. That’s crazy, but such is life during exam week at Boston College. With that being the case, rust could easily be a factor for BC this weekend. Although they share similar records on paper, Boston College is the more talented team, no two-ways about it. They play an immensely tougher schedule and have better athletes at nearly every position. However, that does not guarantee a series win. BC will need to play focused baseball for 27 innings this weekend if they want to down Quinnipiac. I think they will. I think the Stevens, Metzdorf, Rapp rotation will be the best 1-2-3 combo the Bobcats have faced all year, and the Eagles takes the series. I’m leaning heavily toward predicted the sweep, but too many funny things can happen during the course of a weekend for me to have complete confidence in that prediction, so, I’ll go with two wins. Call me soft if you’d like, but there would be no one happier if I were proven wrong and the Eagles took all three.