The New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) named Boston College righthanded pitcher Jacob Stevens as its Rookie of the Year on Wednesday, continuing a string of postseason awards given to the Birdball roster. Stevens was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team earlier in the week.
Stevens went 3-3 this year with a 2.04 ERA in 12 starts. He became known almost immediately for his tendency to disallow earned runs, not allowing an earned run until the Clemson series. The burly righty ranked sixth in the conference in ERA and fifth in opponent's batting average (.209). The totals were good enough for fifth and fourth, respectively, in the BC record books as well. During the middle of the year, he was named to the Golden Spikes Award watch list.
"Bear" is joined on the postseason honoree list with four of his teammates by the NEIBA. Joe Cronin, Justin Dunn, and Michael Strem all earned NEIBA All-New England Second Team honors, and Mike King earned All-New England Third Team honors for their work this season.
For Cronin, it's a crowning achievement on the year. The senior captain of the Eagles, he is in line to finish his career ranking among the top 10 in the majority of categories, including doubles (third with 49) and triples (seventh with sixth). Cronin is one of only four players to start every game this year, leading the team in triples, homers and, total bases.
In addition, Cronin is tied for the all-time program record for walks with 112 as of the end of BC's ACC Tournament run. Should the Eagle season extend into the NCAA Tournament, he'll have an opportunity to break the record and own it to himself with one free pass.
Strem is one of the other Eagles to start all 51 games, with 50 starts coming in center. His .306 batting average is tops among the Eagle, and his 46 career doubles are eighth in the BC record books. Last weekend against Georgia Tech, where BC won two games to clinch their ACC Tournament berth, Strem had seven hits with two doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored.
King and Dunn have been among BC's bread and butter pitchers for the past three years. King, the stalwart on the staff this year, earned seven wins, the first Eagle to do so since 2010. He made 14 starts, allowing 25 walks and 56 strikeouts in just over 90 innings pitched. He allowed more than two walks only once, coming in his final start of th eyear, and he gave up two or less earned runs in all but four appearances. Late in the season, he threw a complete game against Virginia Tech with six strikeouts.
Dunn, meanwhile, started the year in the bullpen but switched to the rotation for the Virginia series, letting history take him from there. The 98-mph power pitcher has a 1.22 ERA in six starts with 32 strikeouts compared to 12 walks. Against Georgia Tech, he won the first game of the doubleheader, throwing his first career complete game while striking out nine without a walk. This season, his 1.35 ERA is second best in the ACC, while opponents are hitting only .210 against him.
The Eagles were eliminated from the ACC Tournament this week in a 6-0 loss to Georgia Tech. Their NCAA Tournament hopes rest on the selection committee on Monday when the field of 64 is announced at noon.