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Boston College Baseball: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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Is there anything bad about a three-game sweep?

BC Athletics

There's a part of me that really wants to rub this into the #DropBaseball crowd. A year ago, if you brought up the Boston College baseball program, there was a vocal subset of the Superfan base saying baseball was beyond fixing, that a northern baseball team could never succeed. Get rid of the team, they said, and invest in lacrosse. I claimed it was shortsighted, that there was no proof that a northern team couldn't be fixed.

Forgive me for feeling totally vindicated right now. There's a long way to go, and the Eagles could conceivably fall out of the ACC Tournament race. The race for the postseason is jammed so solid, one misstep over the course of a full weekend can push a team from fourth to out of the race (see also: Georgia Tech, who went from fourth to ninth by being swept). To say Boston College is in the midst of the national tournament picture is a great feeling.

This season is legitimately one where everyone who criticized this program from all fronts is tucking tail and running a little bit, myself included. Over the past few years, I've watched the Eagles struggle. As a staff member here, I've ripped the program a new one. Results couldn't be overlooked.

In the same breath, I'll throw this out there and offer up another mea culpa - results can't be overlooked. This team is playing very well, and it's a breath of fresh air. This is new for all of us right now, and this team, regardless of the rest of the season, has overcome so much in so little time. It's great to see, and it's worthy of our respect and recognition. This team deserves our support right now on all fronts.

Let's take a look back at the week that was in BC baseball. I have a feeling this is going to be nice and short:

The Good

Pretty much everything. No Jeff Burke? No Chris Shaw? No problem. The BC pitching staff stymied and killed the Yellow Jackets. Jesse Adams was essentially perfect. John Gorman and Mike King made the Yellow Jackets look like Pee Wee hitters. BC scored early, which I said on Friday was going to be key. They were able to blow open games when they needed to, and when they didn't, Mike King just mowed down hitters in 90 pitches or less. I think the question was answered as to if this team would answer the bell.

Coach Jim Foster. The biggest change this year for the Eagles has been the dominance of the pitching staff. Yes, they're prone still to a big outing, but when you think about it, they've been good more often than they haven't been. Foster replaced Scott Friedholm as the pitching coach. Called a big hit against URI and a major coup for the Eagles, it's paid off big time dividends. The team ERA is comparable to what it was last year, but with the team averaging more than a run more per game, they're all of a sudden beating teams.

In the month of April, BC's allowed an average of 4.5 runs per game. If you remove the Clemson game where they were flat out beaten and the Harvard game where BC used the majority of their non-weekend staff, that number drops over a full run to roughly 3.17. A 3.17 ERA would be fourth best in the league. So yeah - the pitching staff has been pretty darn good.

ALS Awareness. A Shea Field record crowd was on hand to watch BC win on Saturday. Honoring those living with ALS and, of course, our hero Pete Frates is something Mike Gambino's done a great job of from the very start. The team, including the coaches, shaved their heads into mohawks, along with Pete, which is a great show of solidarity. Before there was the Ice Bucket Challenge, there was Boston College doing ALS Awareness games. And it'll be great when the Fifth Annual Game takes place next year.

As an aside, it's great to actually win that game. Winning that game will do a good thing to bring people back to watch the team if they're exciting and good. Even though that's not the point, it does a good job to drum more interest in the suddenly-revitalized program.

The Bad & The Ugly