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Boston College Baseball: How Did They Get Here?

COLLEGE BASEBALL: APR 14 Boston College at N.C. State Photo by Nicholas Faulkner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Boston College Baseball has been a sight to behold this season. Despite losing a series sweep to #18 Louisville this weekend, they sit at 21-9 and have climbed all the way up to being ranked 9th in the country. That’s right, Boston College earned its spot as a top ten team in the nation in baseball for the first time ever. For a team that came into the season without a top-25 ranking in years, how has Boston College flipped expectations to reach their highest ranking in program history? Let’s highlight three things:

The balance of the lineup. Boston College has six batters with an OPS above .800 (who also meet league requirements of 2 PA/G and 75% of games played). The lineup has power in 1B Joe Vetrano (slashing .270/.364/.532 with 8 bombs and 26 RBIs) and OF Cameron Leary (slashing .255/.386/.500 with 7 HR and 18 RBIs). Vetrano, in particular, has been fearsome – he leads the team with an excellent .896 OPS, and his 2-HR game against #2 Tennessee powered the Eagles to their biggest win of the season. He has been a mainstay in the lineup as well, leading the team with 111 ABs. Outside of these two guys, Barry Walsh and Patrick Roche both are batting over .300 (.340 and .317, respectively), with Peter Burns’ .297 mark not far behind. There are multiple guys in this lineup who can do damage. Indeed, even guys such as SS Vin Cimini and Nick Wang – less offensive threats – have found big moments to contribute. The team is plating 6.8 runs per game, highlighted by a 24-run explosion in a win over Georgia Tech on 4/2. The offense has been getting the job done.

Ace pitching. The Eagles do not have the deepest pitching staff. Most guys have shuttled between starts and relief appearances, and only 2 meet the league 1 IP/G average. What the Eagles do have, however, is an excellent 1-2 starter-reliever duo in Chris Flynn and Andrew Roman. Flynn was roughed up in his start on Friday, giving up 8 ER in only 2 IP, but he has mostly been lights-out this season. Prior to that blowup, his ERA sat well below 2 and even now is a respectable 3.35, with a decent 1.37 WHIP. His 11.5 K/9 is excellent, however, and he has put the Eagles on his back multiple times this season – 5 scoreless innings against Kennesaw State with 10 Ks, along with 9 Ks in 7 innings against 1 ER vs. Florida State are some highlights. He attacks hitters with an aggressive fastball, which serves as a great putout pitch, and also features a slider and curveball as well. At the back end of the staff has been lockdown closer Andrew Roman. He’s been nails at the end of games, securing 7 saves (no one else on the roster has more than 1). He features a miniscule 1.00 ERA in 18 innings, allowing only 2 ER so far this season. While his 16 Ks are not as impressive, he gets the job done with an excellent 0.83 WHIP. He just doesn’t let guys get on base. With these two spearheading the Eagles’ pitching, Boston College has found success.

Resiliency. Birdball lost back-to-back games for the first time this season in their loss to #18 Louisville, which also marked their first ACC series loss of the season. Before that? The Eagles were 6-0 after a loss. The Eagles were also able to take 3-game series after dropping the opener, against #10 Virginia Tech, #21 FSU, and Georgia Tech. Many of those games featured late-inning heroics, and BC’s win over Tennessee featured multiple lead changes. BC found itself down 10-2 against UMass and still managed to pull out a win. This squad has been gutsy in grinding out wins, and it shows. Let’s keep it rolling, Eags.