After a disappointing weekend saw them drop two of three to the visiting University of Pittsburgh Panthers, the Boston College baseball team returns to action this week with a pair of contests against regional foes UMass and Quinnipiac. Tuesday’s match-up with the Minutemen at the new Brighton Stadium will serve as the consolation game of the 2018 Beanpot Tournament.
Brighton Stadium, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
Tuesday, April 10th @ 3pm ET vs. UMass
Wednesday, April 11th @ 4pm ET vs. Quinnipiac
Tues: BC: TBA vs. UMASS: TBA
Wed: BC: TBA vs. QU: TBA
How to Watch/Listen:
Both games this week will be covered on Gametracker, as well as streamed online by WZBC Radio. Links to both options can be found on the schedule page of Boston College baseball at BCEagles.com.
What you should know about the UMass Minutemen:
In his first season at the helm of the UMass baseball program, head coach Matt Reynolds is off to a tough start, as his Minutemen team sits at 9-12 overall, including a 2-7 mark in the A-10. UMass lost its first round Beanpot game to Northeastern a week ago by a score of 10-8, and will look to defeat Boston College for the first time since 2013, when they took an 11-6 decision over the Eagles in Amherst.
UMass has not announced a starter for Tuesday’s contest, but, as a staff, they have not fared too well against opposing lineups. In just over 183 innings pitched this year, the Minutemen have accumulated a 5.94 ERA and are allowing their opposition to bat nearly .275 off them. They also don’t miss many barrels, as they’ve only recorded 148 strike outs on the season as a group. Regardless of who gets the call on Tuesday for UMass, BC’s hitters need to continue the aggressiveness they showed on Sunday against Pitt to secure a victory.
Offensively, UMass is hitting .251 as a team and have only sent five balls out of the park in 21 games this season. Leading the way for the Minutemen is infielder Ryan Lever who, in his junior campaign, leads the team with a .307 average and has added four doubles and 13 RBI. Behind him is sophomore infielder Eddy Hart who is batting .291 on the year with five doubles, two home runs, and seven runs batted in. Rounding out the top three is outfielder Justen Voghel. The sophomore is is batting .276 with four doubles and seven RBI.
What you should know about the Quinnipiac University Bobcats:
Now in his fourth season as head coach of the Quinnipiac baseball program, John Delaney may have his best team yet. Though the Bobcats are 14-15 overall, they currently sit atop the MAAC standings with a 6-0 record. They’ll take on Hartford on the road on Tuesday, before traveling to Chestnut Hill for Wednesday’s tilt.
Like UMass, the Bobcats have not announced a starter for Wednesday, but unlike the Minutemen, pitching has been a strength for Quinnipiac so far this season, as they enter the week with a 4.46 team ERA in 242 innings, recording 199 strike outs along the way. Though they should be an upgrade over what the Eagles will see on Tuesday, BC must continue to employ an aggressive approach and not allow themselves to continually get behind in counts.
At the plate, Quinnipiac is batting .270 as a team and feature three everyday players over the .300 mark. Leading the way is junior outfielder Brian Moskey who is batting a team-high .324 through 29 games, with six doubles, a homer, and 22 RBI. Behind Moskey is sophomore Dylan Luntz. The infielder is batting .317 on the year, while adding four doubles, two home runs, and 13 runs batted in. Sophomore catcher/infielder Evan Vulgamore is having a nice season as well, batting .302 with six doubles, 21 RBI, and a team-leading five home runs.
What you should know about the Boston College Eagles:
After snapping an eight-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon against Pitt, head coach Mike Gambino and the Boston College baseball team enter the week looking to get on winning streak to help improve their overall record of 10-19, before Wake Forest comes to town this weekend.
Though BC has yet to announce starters for the week’s two games, it’s likely that Matt Gill will get the call in one of them, likely Tuesday’s Beanpot consolation game against UMass. Gill, a sophomore right-hander, has a 3.18 ERA and 1-1 record in nine appearances this season, including three starts. Other possible starters during the midweek include junior righty Jack Nelson or, perhaps, even freshman lefty Will Hesslink, both of whom have experienced success at times this season.
Offensively, BC got back on track Sunday after being largely dormant the last two weeks. Senior Jake Palomaki still leads the Eagles’ offense with a .344 average, ten doubles, a triple, three home runs, and 20 RBI. Nipping at his heels is freshman Chris Galland who, after going through a small slump, rebounded over the weekend and is hitting .343, with seven doubles, two triples, 12 RBI, and a conference-leading 19 stolen bases in 19 attempts. Brian Dempsey is also quietly having a great season, as the sophomore is batting .337 on the year, while starting every game at second base.
I’ll come right out and predict it: this is the week BC finally wins during the midweek, something they haven’t done since March 6th at UNC Asheville. It’s been that long. Honestly, I think the Eagles will overpower UMass on Tuesday at home and, though Quinnipiac will be a stiffer test the following day, win a close(r) battle on Wednesday before welcoming Wake Forest to Boston this weekend. I know I’ve said it countless times the last few weeks, but these are the games BC has to win if they want to be a contender. Now, the NCAA may be out of reach this season, barring an absolute tear through the second half of the schedule or ACC Tournament Championship, but regardless, Boston College needs to beat regional teams that they are clearly more talented than. It really is that simple.