Previewing 2018 Baseball: Santa Clara

Boston College baseball

Construction has yet to be finished on Boston College baseball’s new home on Brighton Campus, but the Eagles kick off their season this weekend with a three-game series against Santa Clara in California. Returning six starting position players and the entirety of its pitching rotation, BC has an experienced roster that looks to return to the NCAA tournament after an off year last season.

The Eagles are playing their first 14 games on the road, not returning to the Heights until mid-March. The first test is a young Broncos team, picked eighth in the Western Coast Conference preseason poll, which is manned by longtime Stanford associate head coach Rusty Filter, beginning his first year with the team.

Who is BC playing?

Santa Clara

When is BC playing?

Friday, Feb. 18, 9 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 19, 4 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 20, 3 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Schott Stadium, Santa Clara, CA

How to Watch:

The game will be available to stream on WCCsports.com.

Team Capsules

Santa Clara

Last year was a season to forget for the Broncos as they went just 13-40. That resulted in the exit of head coach Dan O’Brien, who failed to record a winning season in his six years with the team. Santa Clara hasn’t finished within the top 100 in RPI since 2008, but has optimism entering this season. The corner infield is anchored by preseason All-WCC selections in Jake Brodt (.338/.375/.532, seven home runs) and John Cresto (.307/.363/.561, 12 home runs), while nine pitchers return from last year’s roster. Brodt and Cresto are two tough outs in the lineup, and outfielder Niko Holm (.307/.443/.425) was described by Filter as the team’s “best pure hitter.” Pitching is still a question mark for the Broncos, though, as their Friday starter, Alex Barden, threw just 25 innings last year and struggled to keep the ball in the park.

Boston College

The Eagles lost Donovan Casey and Johnny Adams to the draft, but return a deep, talented roster. The top two hitters from a year ago, Jake Alu (.331) and Gian Martellini (.302), both return—as do five of BC’s top six offensive producers. All three weekend starters return for the Eagles, as does a deep bullpen anchored by the trio of Jack Nelson, Carmen Giampetruzzi, and closer John Witkowski. Picked to finish sixth in the ACC’s Atlantic division, the Eagles are looking to replicate the run to the Super Regionals two years ago, where they finished 16th in the country.

Last Meeting

The Eagles opened the 2014 season with two games in Santa Clara, and won both of them. They won 4-1 and 8-6, with the second game featuring a rally from a five-run deficit. BC scored three in the ninth inning to take the lead, and John Nicklas recorded his first career save in the win. In the season opener, the Eagles recorded their first win with ease, taking an early two-run lead and never relinquishing it.

Probable Pitching Matchups

Friday:  BC RHP Jacob Stevens vs. SC LHP Alex Barden
Saturday: BC LHP Dan Metzdorf vs. TBA
Sunday: BC RHP Brian Rapp vs. SC RHP Alex Waldsmith

Featured Image by Jacob Catania / Heights Staff

About Bradley Smart 131 Articles
Bradley is the associate sports editor for The Heights. He believes that America does truly run on Dunkin, March is the best month, baseball teams should always wear stirrups, and being down 3-1, in anything, is never cause for concern. You can follow him on Twitter @bradleysmart15.