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Boston College Baseball Weekend Preview - Miami

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The Eagles travel to Coral Gables to close out their season with a series against the Hurricanes.

BCEagles.com

After beating Maine on Tuesday afternoon, the Boston College baseball team will look to close out the 2018 season with a series win at conference rival Miami. The Hurricanes, who are .500 on the season, will be playing their final home games with Jim Morris as head coach, as the long-time skipper has announced he is hanging ‘em up at the end of the season.

Series Location:

Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL

Game Times:

Thursday, May 17th @ 7pm ET vs. Miami
Friday, May 18th @ 7pm ET vs. Miami
Saturday, May 19th @ 1pm ET vs. Miami

Probable Starters:

Th: BC: Jr. RHP Jacob Stevens (3-6, 5.09 ERA) vs. UM: Sr. LHP Jeb Bargfeldt (3-3, 3.53 ERA)
Fri: BC: Jr. LHP Dan Metzdorf (1-7, 5.87 ERA) vs. UM: So. RHP Evan McKendry (6-6, 3.81 ERA)
Sat: BC: Sr. RHP Brian Rapp (3-5, 3.57 ERA) vs. UM: TBA

How to Watch/Listen:

The series against the Hurricanes will be covered on Gametracker, as well as streamed live online on ACC Network Extra via the WatchESPN app. Also, for those Boston College fans in the Miami area, the series will be broadcast on the 90.5 FM. Links to all viewing options can be found on the schedule page of Boston College baseball at BCEagles.com.

What you should know about the University of Miami Hurricanes:

After 25 years in Coral Gables, head coach Jim Morris is calling it quits. He’s won nearly every coaching award possible in his quarter century at Miami and has fielded some great teams that have included some great players, however, his current squad will likely not be counted among those. Though they sit above .500 in the ACC, with a record of 14-13, the Hurricanes are 25-25 overall and have lost some uncharacteristic games and series so far this season. The Eagles would love to send the ever-polarizing Morris out with a losing record.

On the mound, Miami is in the top half of the conference with a 3.85 team ERA and have held opposing lineups to a .240 batting average as a unit. Senior Jeb Bargfeldt will get the call on Thursday night, as the lefty has been one of the Hurricanes most reliable arms, compiling a 3-3 record to go along with a 3.53 ERA. Friday night, BC will face right hander Evan McKendry. McKendry, only a sophomore, has a record of 6-6 on the year and has earned a 3.81 ERA in 13 starts. He also leads the team in strike outs by a wide margin with 103 on the season in 80.1 innings pitched. Miami has yet to announce a starter for Saturday’s series finale.

Offensively, Miami is batting .258 as a team, good for tenth in the conference, and features two everyday players over the .300 mark. Leading the charge is infielder Freddy Zamora. Zamora, a freshman, is batting .316 on the year with 12 doubles, four triples, a home run, and 26 RBI. He’s also stolen 18 bases in 21 attempts. Fellow freshman Isaac Quinones is also having a stellar rookie season at the plate, as the Hurricane’s catcher/DH is batting .305 with 10 doubles, a home run, and 24 RBI. The biggest power threat in the Miami lineup is junior Romy Gonzalez. The infielder/outfielder is batting .280, but leads the team in home runs, with four, and runs batted in, with 29.

What you should know about the Boston College Eagles:

Though the 2018 campaign has been disappointing, it would be encouraging and satisfying to see head coach Mike Gambino and his Boston College team close out the year with a series win over Miami. Beating the Hurricanes will not put BC into the postseason, as they sit 17-30 overall with a conference record of 7-20, but it would be sweet to knock off the Hurricanes in what should be an emotional send off for Jim Morris.

On the mound, the Eagles will roll out their usual rotation of Jacob Stevens, Dan Metzdorf, and Brian Rapp and hope that the three can put together a complete weekend, as the trio have all shown flashes of dominance at times this season. As has been the case all year, the BC pitching staff must avoid giving up free bases at all costs against Miami, as the Hurricanes lineup does have the potential to make teams pay for allowing extra outs. Look for Boston College’s pitchers to challenge a Hurricane’s lineup that features a few young players at the top with fastballs early in the count.

At the plate, Boston College is batting .245 as a team and features three everyday players above the .300 mark. Freshman outfielder Chris Galland is tied for the team lead in batting average at .329. The outfielder has also added 10 doubles, a pair of triples, and 18 RBI to the BC offense this season. Sophomore Brian Dempsey is also batting .329, thanks in part to a 4 for 4 performance on Tuesday, and has added three doubles and 19 runs batted in on the year. Perhaps the most complete hitter in the Eagles’ lineup is senior Jake Palomaki, who is batting .313 with a team-leading 13 doubles, two triples, three homers, and 32 RBI.

Prediction:
For a series that carries no real implications for Boston College, other than ending the season on a high note, I expect these three games against Miami to be hard-fought. It’s not just because the Eagles want to send their seniors out on the right foot, or because they’re looking to “make up” for some of the bad losses from earlier this season. But because, plainly speaking, these two teams don’t like each other. Most will remember the brawl between Boston College and Miami in 2016 after Edgar Michelangeli showboated around the bases following a go-ahead grand slam in game three of the Super Regional, but the dislike between the programs, and schools in general, goes back much further than that. We didn’t like them when I played, and the guys before me didn’t like them when they played. And the Eagles don’t like them now. So with all of that said, and before I go off on a tangent, I think this will be a very entertaining series. As mentioned above, these three games will be the last for Jim Morris in Coral Gables. And guess what? I think BC takes two of them. Stevens will keep a decently-young Miami lineup off balance on Thursday night and Brian Rapp, in his final game in a Boston College uniform, will shove on Saturday, spoiling all the pregame festivities honoring Morris.