Previewing 2018 Baseball: Virginia Tech

boston college baseball

Boston College baseball (7-11, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) will play a three-game series against Virginia Tech (9-10, 3-3) this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Brighton. The Eagles are coming off an 18-inning marathon against Northeastern last Tuesday—one that ended in a heartbreaking 7-4 BC loss. The epic contest lasted five and a half hours and was the Eagles’ second-straight extra innings bout, with the previous one being a 10-inning loss to Virginia last weekend.

BC has endured a rough start to the season, giving up lots of runs, but also losing a good amount of close games that were decided in the last few innings, some of which could’ve gone the other way. The Eagles enter the weekend on a three-game losing streak—after stealing the first game of their series in Charlottesville, Va., they fell short in the ensuing two games of play and then had the Northeastern game ripped out of their hands, despite an impressive comeback. If BC is to get back on track, it’s fortune will have to change against the Hokies.

Who is BC playing?

Virginia Tech

When is BC playing?

Friday, March 23, 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 24, 2 p.m.

Sunday, March 25, 12 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Brighton Campus Baseball Field, Brighton, Mass.

How to Watch:

The game will be broadcasted on WZBC Radio and can be followed using the live stats available on BCEagles.com.

Probable Starters:

RHP Jacob Stevens (3-2) vs. RHP Connor Coward (1-2)

LHP Dan Metzdorf (0-3) vs LHP Ian Seymour (2-1)

RHP Brian Rapp (2-1) vs RHP Joey Sullivan (0-2)

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) The BC pitching staff has had a rough start to the season, ranking last in the ACC in ERA (6.11), opposing batting average (.284), total earned runs (112) and saves (1).

2) Freshman outfielder Chris Galland has proved to be a speedster on the bases this season, having already swiped 13—good enough to lead the ACC through the first month of the season. Galland also had two stolen bases in the previous game against Northeastern.

3) The Eagles have played 28 innings in their last two games, which is more than three games usually total. Fatigue could likely play a factor for this tired Eagles team.

VTech:

1) VTech starter Connor Coward has been the team’s workhorse thus far in the season, pitching 33.1 innings, which is third best in the conference. Coward is also one of only three pitchers in the conference to throw a complete game.

2) The Hokies have drawn only 61 walks this season, last in the ACC. This lack of plate discipline could be advantageous to a struggling BC pitching staff.

3) VTech’s pitching gives up the long ball. The Hokies pitching staff has given up the most home runs in the ACC this season: 24.

Last Meeting:

The last series between these two teams was one to forget for the Eagles. Almost exactly a year ago to the day, BC got swept in the series against VTech by a combined score of 30-13. The final game of the series was a 4-3 loss that saw now-senior pitcher Brian Rapp throw a gem of a game with eight strikeouts, but the Hokies walked off with a bases-loaded single to win the nailbiter.

BC wins if…

The Eagles’ big hitters can go deep. The Hokies tend to give up a lot of home runs, 28 on the season, and BC needs to take advantage of this flaw in their game. This would go against the trend this season, as BC has only hit six home runs total, last in the ACC. However, if the team’s sluggers like Gian Martellini (3 HR, 17 RBI) and Jake Palomaki (1 HR, 17 RBI) can take advantage of a staff that has a tendency to give up home runs, the Eagles could take the series.

BC loses if…

It gives up more than three runs. Three seems to be the magic number that decides whether BC wins or not this season. When the Eagles give up more than three runs, they are 1-10, but when they hold opponents to three runs or less, they are 6-1. This will be difficult however, as the Eagles have given up 10 or more runs six times already this season—a bad stat to have for a team that is third-worst in the ACC in runs scored (108).

Featured Image by Lucas Bassoli / Heights Staff