After taking the past week off for exams, the Boston College baseball team returns to action on Tuesday to take on the University of Maine in their final home game of the season. The contest against the Black Bears will also mark the final midweek game of the year, as the Eagles will travel to Miami on Wednesday to wrap up their season with a three game set against the Hurricanes.
Brighton Stadium at Harrington Athletics Village, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
Tuesday, May 15th @ 5:30pm ET vs. Maine
Tues: BC: Jr. RHP Jack Nelson (1-1, 5.53 ERA) vs. UM: TBA
How to Watch/Listen:
Tuesday’s game will be covered, as always, on Gametracker, as well as broadcast on WZBC Radio and streamed live on ACC Network Extra via the WatchESPN app. Links to all three viewing options can be found on the schedule page of Boston College baseball at BCEagles.com.
What you should know about the Maine Black Bears:
Wrapping up his first season as the head coach of the University of Maine baseball program is Nick Derba, who has led the Black Bears to an overall record of 17-29, including an 11-10 mark in the America East Conference. Though the postseason is out of reach for Maine, they should come into Tuesday’s contest motivated, as the Black Bears are 3-2 against Boston College since 2012.
Though Maine has not announced a starting pitcher for Tuesday’s match-up, expect the Eagles to face multiple arms on the afternoon, as both teams are likely to use their bullpens liberally as the season winds down. On the year, the Maine pitching staff has compiled a team-ERA of nearly six and has allowed opposing lineups to bat .274 off of them. However, they have have struck out 351 batters in 382 innings pitched, while walking 241, so they do get their fair share of swings and misses.
Offensively, Maine is batting .268 as a team and features two everyday players over the .300 mark. Leading the team in batting average is first baseman Hernen Sardinas. The sophomore is batting .317 on the year and has added 14 doubles, a triple, six home runs, and 34 RBI to the Black Bear’s offense. Junior infielder Jeremy Pena has also had a solid year, batting .308 with nine doubles, five triples, four home runs, and 25 RBI. Rounding out the top three in the line up is Christopher Bec who is batting .297, while adding eight long-balls and 25 runs batted in. While all those numbers are impressive, the biggest power threat in Maine’s lineup is junior infielder Danny Casals, who has launched a team-high 11 home runs and driven in 36.
What you should know about the Boston College Eagles:
Though the season did not turn out the way head coach Mike Gambino and his Boston College squad wanted, as they come into Tuesday’s game with an overall record of 16-30, including a 7-20 mark in the ACC, they still have opportunity to beat a regional opponent this week and close out their midweek slate with a win.
Likely getting the nod on Tuesday evening will be junior right-hander Jack Nelson. Nelson, after a few rough outings to start the season, has settled down as of late and lowered his ERA, which had been in the double digits, to 5.53 to go along with a 1-1 record. After a week off for exams, expect Nelson, and anyone else Gambino decides to throw on Tuesday, to go right after Maine’s hitters with fastballs to force contact so to avoid giving up free bases.
Offensively, the Eagles are batting .244 as a team and feature three everyday players over the .300 mark. Leading the way with a .329 batting average is freshman Chris Galland. The young outfielder has also recorded 10 doubles, two triples, and 17 RBI on the year. Galland is also second in the ACC with 28 stolen bases this season. Behind Galland is senior co-captain Jake Palomaki who is betting .316 with 13 doubles, two triples, three home runs, and a team-leading 32 RBI. Sophomore Brian Dempsey has been solid at the plate all season, as the Eagles’ second baseman is batting .311 on the year with three doubles and 17 RBI.
Well, the week off for exams did not bring the news that BC was hoping for, as Virginia won its series opener against Georgia Tech on Friday night, giving the Cavaliers 10 wins in the ACC and putting them out of reach (by virtue of the tie-break) of the Eagles. With a return to the postseason now impossible, BC will close out its 2018 season with four games, before heading into summer ball. With that as a backdrop for Tuesday’s contest, I think the Eagles play like they have nothing to lose, because they don’t, and beat Maine handily. Yes, the Black Bears’ lineup has a lot of pop (six players have hit multiple HR’s this season), but I think Boston College’s pitching staff handles them well on Tuesday. Expect to see some guys get at bats and innings on that mound that maybe didn’t see much time this season, as Gambino and his staff may use this game to see who and what they have on the bench heading into next fall. Either way, I think after a week of studying for exams, the Eagles will be excited to get back on the field and play someone in a different colored jersey. BC wins.