Boston College baseball’s aspirations to earn its first playoff series berth since 2010 appear to have taken a dangerous hit.
BC took on Clemson this afternoon without its best hitter in the lineup, Chris Shaw, who was out after sustaining a hand injury in the first game of the series yesterday. BC head coach Mike Gambino said that Shaw wanted to play, but the team tended on the side of precaution.
“He’s going to beg to be in the lineup, he’s going to beg to pinch-hit,” Gambino said. “As much as we want him in the lineup, we’re going to focus on doing what’s right by our guy, taking care of our guy.”
Shaw was pulled in the eighth inning along with six other starters in BC’s lineup on Friday, when Clemson built up a 12-0 lead. He had an X-ray Friday night after the game, which came back negative. The outfielder will see a hand specialist on Monday and remains doubtful for tomorrow’s game.
In addition, right-handed pitchers Jeff Burke and Bobby Skogsbergh have each been shut down for the year. Burke will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday, while Skogsbergh will have shoulder surgery to address fraying in the labrum, according to Gambino.
Burke has been the most consistent starter for BC this season, totaling a 4.85 ERA in eight starts. He only has two wins on the season, but the majority of his starts have been on Friday afternoons against some of the best starters in the country. Burke sustained this injury in a start against Wake Forest last Friday, when he allowed two runs, six hits, and three walks in just 2 2/3 innings. Gambino listed the timetable for his return at 12-16 months, though he said some pitchers have returned after 10 months.
Bobby Skogsbergh, meanwhile, has been plagued by shoulder issues all year. He had recorded a 6.00 ERA in three innings of work for the Eagles. His last outing for BC was against Northeastern University on March 24, when he went two scoreless innings and allowed just one hit. This surgery takes less time to return from than Tommy John, but Gambino still placed the recovery time around three to four months—well after BC’s season ends.
While the pitching losses will hurt BC, no loss would be bigger than Shaw. He is tied for second in the country in home runs and leads the Eagles in almost every offensive category, including batting average (.339), RBIs (31), and OPS (1.118).
Featured Image by Daniella Fasciano / Heights Staff