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Boston College Baseball Midweek Preview - UNC Asheville & Wofford

The Eagles continue their spring break trip with two midweek contests in two days down south.

Boston College Athletics

After dropping two of three games over the weekend, the Boston College baseball team is back in action this week with games against UNC Asheville and Wofford, before heading to NC State to open ACC play on Friday. The Eagles are 4-5 on the young season and are looking to get on a roll before entering conference action.

Game Locations:

Tuesday: Greenwood Field, UNC Asheville, Asheville, North Carolina
Wednesday: Flour Field, Greenville, South Carolina

Game Times:

Tuesday, March 6th @ 4pm ET vs. UNC Asheville
Wednesday, March 7th @ 12pm ET vs. Wofford

Probable Starters:

Tues: BC: So. RHP Matt Gill (0-0, 6.00 ERA) vs. UNCA: Jr. RHP Danny Wilson (0-0, 10.80 ERA)

Wed: BC: Jr. RHP Jack Nelson (0-0, 16.20 ERA) vs. WOF: Fr. RHP Clay Schwaner (0-2, 6.75 ERA)

How to Watch/Listen:

Both of the Eagles’ midweek games will be covered on Gametracker, with Tuesday’s match-up against UNC Asheville streamed online. Links to the video stream and both Gametracker options can be found on the schedule page of Boston College baseball at BCEagles.com.

What you should know about the UNC Asheville Bulldogs:

At the helm of the UNC Asheville baseball program is a familiar face to those who follow Boston College baseball: Scott Friedholm. Friedholm served as the Eagles’ pitching coach from 2011-2014 before taking the head coaching position for the Bulldogs. He’s had success in Asheville, leading the program to its first Big South Conference Tournament appearance since 2007 last season. So far this year, however, UNC Asheville is 2-8 and were swept on the road at Florida State over the weekend, though, the final two contests in that series were very close.

On the mound Tuesday, the Bulldogs will feature junior Danny Wilson. The right-hander enters the game with a season record of 0-0 in a total of 3.1 innings pitched. Wilson has struggled to miss the barrels of his opponent’s bats this season, as hitters have tagged him for a 10.80 ERA and have not struck out against him. Boston College’s lineup figures to get plenty of pitches to hit on Tuesday.

Offensively, UNC Asheville features two everyday players hitting .300 or better. Junior infielder Carmine Pagano leads the team with a .302 average and has added three doubles, a home run, and five RBI to the Bulldog’s offense. Behind Pagano is catcher Joe Gruszka. The sophomore is batting and even .300 through ten games this season, with a double, two home runs, and three RBI.

What you should know about the Wofford College Terriers:

In his 11th season in command of the Wofford College baseball program, Todd Interdonato has his Terriers ball club moving in the right direction, as they start the week with a 6-5 record, having swept the University of Pennsylvania over the weekend. Wofford will play at Clemson on Tuesday, before taking on the Eagles at Flour Field in Greenville, S.C. on Wednesday afternoon.

In the contest, Boston College’s hitters will face right-hander Clay Schwaner. The freshman enters Wednesday’s match-up with an 0-2 record on the season, to go along with a 6.75 ERA in 10.2 innings pitched. Though he has been hit around some, the youngster is averaging nearly a strike out per inning, as he’s fanned nine batters so far this season.

The Wofford offense is off to a hot start to the season and feature four everyday players over the .300 mark. Leading the way is senior outfielder Mack Nathanson who is batting a team-leading .389 to go along with four doubles, three home runs, and 11 RBI. Nathanson’s classmate and fellow outfielder, McClain Bradley, has also launched three round-trippers and driven in 11 runs, while batting a robust .349 in 11 games this season. Also, keep an eye on senior catcher Cody Miller who is batting .324 with five doubles, a home run, and ten RBI.

What you should know about the Boston College Eagles:

The Eagles enter this week’s action with an overall record of 4-5 and have dropped their last two games. Head Coach Mike Gambino and his Boston College squad will look to get back on the right track this week with a pair of wins before opening up ACC play on Friday night at NC State.

Starting on the mound during the week will be sophomore Matt Gill on Tuesday and junior Jack Nelson on Wednesday. Both right-handers have appeared in three games this season, with Nelson throwing a combined 1.2 innings and Gill going for an even three. Both will look to pound the strike zone early and often this week to avoid allowing any free bases to either team. Depending on the length of their respective starts, both could be options out of the bullpen this weekend.

Offensively, BC enters the week with three everyday players batting over .300, and are hitting .272 as a team. Leading the way is infielder Brian Dempsey. The sophomore is batting a team-leading .419 on the season, while plating eight Boston College runs. His classmate, Jack Cunningham, is also having a nice start to the season, as the outfielder is batting .379 through nine games and leads the team with six walks. Senior shortstop and co-captain Jake Palomaki is also off to a hot start, batting .316 with three doubles, a triple, a home run, and a team-leading 10 RBI. Juniors Jake Alu and Gian Martellini are both starting to find their rhythm this season, as the pair have raised their batting averages significantly over the last week.

Prediction:

I wrote in my recap of this past weekend’s action that neither of these midweek games should be classified as “must-win” for Boston College and I stand by that. However, BC does not want to head to Raleigh on Thursday on a four-game losing streak before taking on Eliot Avent and the Wolfpack. Instead, they need to use these two games to find a rhythm on the mound and at the plate that they can use as a confidence booster heading into the ACC gauntlet. Looking at these match-ups on paper, I believe the Eagles most definitely have the advantage in pure talent. However, as we have seen before, having better players does not always translate into wins. You can bet that UNC Asheville, and former BC assistant Scott Friedholm, will be fired up to host the Eagles on Tuesday and Wofford’s potent offense will be aggressive at the plate on Wednesday. Boston College will need to focus, and execute on a pitch-by-pitch, out-by-out, and inning-by-inning basis to come away with two wins. And, I believe they will. I think the lineup, especially the bottom half, continues to produce, and the combination of Gill and Nelson in the midweek find a groove, tempering the Bulldogs’ and Terriers’ offenses, and the Eagles head to Raleigh riding high.