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First Pitch: Eagles Look To Go Green With Midweek Game Against Ivy League's Dartmouth

Hanover is nice this time of year.

BC Athletics

On Paper

Record: 6-18 (4-4 Ivy League)
Last Time Out: Split weekend series against Cornell and Princeton (0-1, 8-5 v. Cornell; 3-1, 0-4 v. Princeton)

Around The Horn

As a conference, the Ivy League isn't particularly great at the plate. The Ancient Eight are hitting a combined .265, but they're doing so without the kind of drop-off from first to last you'd expect within a league's ranks. Harvard is the best hitting team in the league at .280, with Cornell bringing up the rear at .242. That means no team in the league is going to overwhelm anyone. It also means that while they might be able to hit well against each other, they all struggled outside of league play.

If the league is hitting .265, Dartmouth is hitting below the Mendoza line. Arguably the worst offense among the Ivies, they're coming in at just .242 with an average of 3.3 runs per game. That ranks them second to last and last, respectively. They've hit only two homers on the year, and they have only 66 RBI. They are last in walks drawn, and they're the only team with an on-base percentage under .300. They're the only Ivy League team without 10 stolen bases as a team.

This is not a team that hits exceptionally well, although there are some bright spots. Matt Parisi and Ben ocher are both over .300, and their 55 hits are just under 30% of the team's entire offensive output in terms of hits. Nick Lombardi and Joe Purritano lead the way in RBI, with Lombardi knocking in 13 and Purritano knocking in 11. Purritano also has 10 doubles.

This tells me that Dartmouth will try to key on having a couple of big innings to keep the scores low. They'll use the top half of the lineup to drive in runs and hope for the best the rest of the way. If this were a weekend series, I'd bet against them, but in a one-off game where BC is obviously not going to start one of their best pitchers, that gives them a fighting chance, especially with the Beanpot coming on Wednesday.

On The Bump

I don't think either team is likely to throw a good chunk of their best pitchers. Even with a win, Dartmouth stands to gain nothing, and Boston College can't waste its pitching staff (a) coming off a long series against Wake Forest, (b) with Clemson on the horizon, and (c) with the Beanpot first round game against Northeastern (the same NU team the Eagles beat 22-1 earlier in the year) on Wednesday. So I think we're unlikely to see anything but a parade of relievers and short stints from both squads.

Dartmouth is decidedly middle of the road in the Ivy League in terms of pitching, but it's once again in a league that's pretty mediocre on the bump. Penn is the only team allowing less than four runs per game, and the Big Green enter with a staff ERA of 5.57. That's a tough draw against a BC offense that's been rolling; even against Wake Forest in losing two games, the Eagles crushed the ball.

Four Big Green pitchers have ERAs under 4.00, but that's about where the positive energy ends. The Ivy League uses a different structure over a weekend series where they play two days of doubleheaders, and I don't think any of the Big Green weekend starters will be eligible for single inning work against the Eagles. That means we're unlikely to see Jackson Bubala, Duncan Robinson, or Louis Concato since it's imperative that Dartmouth not waste innings against BC or Holy Cross (on Wednesday) with four games at Yale over the weekend.

Scoreboard Watching


Music To Listen To While You're Thinking About Why They Can Play Baseball In New Hampshire But Not In Boston


Dio - Holy Diver. Ronnie James Dio was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Your options were Dio or Mandy Moore. Who doesn't want to ROCK OUT to Dio?

Every time there's a Dio song on the radio, I have to scream his name in that high-pitched Dio voice. Dio passed away tragically due to stomach cancer, but his tomb has flanking urns with the "Devil's horns" rocking out. The man was a rock god, and he might be just as bad ass in death as he was in life.

Fun Fact Of The Week

In keeping with the whole music theme, Al Barr, a vocalist for Dropkick Murphys, is from Hanover, NH.

The Big Green play at Red Rolfe Field. A Penacook, NH native and a Dartmouth graduate, he played in parts of 11 years. A four-time All Star, he won five World Series as the starting third baseman on the Yankees teams featuring Lou Gehrig, Joe Dimaggio, Lefty Gomez, and Bill Dickey. He coached Yale for four years before eventually returning to the MLB ranks as manager of the Detroit Tigers.

In 1954, he became the athletic director at Dartmouth and stayed their until 1967. Two years after leaving, in 1969, he passed away at the age of 60 from chronic kidney disease.

The Ivy League is broken up into two divisions for its baseball setup with four teams each. The Lou Gehrig Division features Columbia, Penn, Cornell, and Princeton, while Dartmouth joins Yale, Brown, and Harvard in the division named after?

Red Rolfe.

Bonus Fun Fact Of the Week

The Ivy League actually didn't sponsor baseball as an individual league until 1993. From 1930 through 1992, the Ivy League schools joined with Army and Navy to play in the Eastern Intercollegiate Baseball League. Army and Navy left in 1993 to join the Patriot League, and the Ivy League summarily split its league into two four-team divisions and began sponsoring baseball.

Division winners meet at the campus site of the team with the better record in a best-of-three series to determine who wins the Ivy League Championship and receives the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It's a much different system than what you'll see with any other league in the nation. Additionally, if a team finishes in a tie, rather than go to a tiebreaker scenario, the Ivy League plays one game playoffs and delays the championship series one week. Last season, Dartmouth played Yale for the Rolfe Division tiebreaker, while Columbia and Penn both tied and played for the Gehrig Division crown. Dartmouth then went to Columbia for the Ivy League Championship, with the Lions prevailing in two straight.

Prediction Time

Look, there's a lot of reason for you to not pay attention to this game because BC should manhandle the Big Green. The Ivy League is a fun league to watch, but a loss here would be catastrophic to the public perception of the BC team. It would bring back all the same old arguments.

Just pummel this team in Hanover, get on the bus, and come home. We got a Beanpot to worry about.