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BC Baseball Preview: Eagles Take on No. 1 Louisville

BC Baseball – Weekend Preview: Eagles Take on No. 1 Louisville
BC returns to Louisville for second time in program history

 
 

THE FACTS

MATCHUP: Boston College (6-8, 1-2 ACC) at No. 1 Louisville (16-0, 3-0 ACC)
WHERE: Jim Patterson Stadium in Louisville, Ky.
WHEN: Friday, March 17 at 6 p.m. | Saturday, March 18 at 1 p.m. | Sunday, March 19 at 1 p.m.
RECORD vs. Louisville: Louisville leads the series, 4-2

HOW TO FOLLOW
ACC Network Extra: Friday | Saturday | Sunday
Listen Live
Live Stats
Twitter: @BCBirdball

THE MATCHUP

Pitching Matchups
Friday: RHP Jacob Stevens (2-0, 75 ERA) vs. LHP Brendan McKay (3-0, 0.50 ERA)
Saturday:  RHP Matt Gill (1-3, 8.31 ERA) vs. RHP Kade McClure (2-0, 2.08 ERA)
Sunday: LHP Dan Metzdorf (1-2, 4.71 ERA) vs. LHP Nick Bennett (2-0. 0.56 ERA)

Scouting the Cardinals

  • Louisville enters the second weekend of Atlantic Coast Conference with the No. 1 national ranking from Baseball American, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and in the USA Today/Coaches Poll.
  • The Cardinals are a perfect 16-0 and 3-0 in the league after sweeping Pittsburgh last weekend. They are 13-0 at home and 3-0 on neutral territory, playing the first three games in Clearwater, Fla.
  • Louisville leads the ACC with a .342 team batting average, a 1.76 team ERA and a .983 fielding percentage.
  • Friday starter Brendan McKay leads the conference with a .511 batting average, a .587 on-base percentage and is third with a .830 slugging percentage. His 0.50 ERA is second while his 29 strikeouts are tied for fifth.
  • Saturday starter Kade McClure is tied with McKay and two other ACC pitchers for fifth in the league for strikeouts (29) while Sunday hurler Nick Bennett’s .106 opponent batting average leads all conference pitchers. Bennett’s 0.56 ERA is third in the league and McClure’s 2.08 ERA is ninth.
  • Outfielder Logan Taylor is second in the league with 11 stolen bases and his 21 runs scored is tied for seventh.

THE SERIES

  • The Boston College baseball team returns to Louisville for the second time in program history.
  • The Cardinals joined the ACC in 2015 and BC dropped three games to the then 13th-ranked Cards at Jim Patterson Stadium the second weekend of conference play.
  • Last year, the Eagles took two of three from the fourth-ranked Cardinals in Louisville’s first trip to Chestnut Hill.
  • McKay is 1-1 against the Eagles. He picked up in the win in 2015, throwing seven scoreless with three hits, one walk and nine strikeouts. In 2016, he went five innings, allowed seven hits, four runs and four walks with six strikeouts, collecting the loss.

BC vs. No. 1                                                                          

  • BC is 1-2 on the year against top-25 opponents, as Florida State was ranked second or third in every major poll.
  • Overall, the Eagles have won 11 games against top-five teams and lost 52 since joining the ACC in 2006.
  • BC is 2-22 against No. 1 teams in that time. The Eagles’ wins came against FSU in a 17-6 Sunday victory in 2012 and a 5-4, 11-inning win over Virginia in 2011. Both were at home and under seventh-year head coach Mike Gambino.

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE EAGLES

  • Boston College came out of Tallahassee with one victory over then No. 2/3 Florida State to move to 1-2 in the ACC. The win marked the first for the Eagles against the Noles since 2012, snapping an 11-game skid against FSU, and the first at Dick Howser Stadium since 2009.
  • BC’s 30 stolen bases are third in the ACC with Duke and tied for 15th nationally. The Eagles steal 2.14 bases per game, first in the conference and ninth in the nation.
  • The Eagles are 11th in the conference with a .231 team batting clip and 10th with a 4.40 team ERA. The 65 walks allowed on the season are fifth-least in the league. The BC defense is currently ranked ninth with a .967 fielding percentage. The Eagles have turned 12 double plays, tied for eighth in the ACC.
  • The Eagles earned an opening-night, 8-5 victory over the Seminoles behind the arm of sophomore RHP Jacob Stevens, who allowed just two runs in his six-inning start. He gave up four hits, five walks and struck out five. He is eighth in the league with a 1.75 ERA. With 100 career innings pitched, Stevens became eligible to rank in BC record books and his 2.34 career ERA is currently first overall.
  • Senior Michael Strem and junior Jake Palomaki led the way offensively for the Eagles, with four hits apiece. Junior Mitch Bigras drove in a team-high three RBIs.
  • Palomaki leads the Eagles with 10 walks and five stolen bases. His career totals are moving up the BC record books as he is fourth all-time with 98 career walks and seventh all-time with 39 career stolen bases.
  • Strem has reached base in the last 13 games and has tallied at least one hit in the last five games. He has already logged five outfield assists in the young 2017 season and his career doubles total is up to 50, fourth all-time.
  • Sophomore Jake Alu made his first career start – as the designated hitter – against Villanova on March 5 and recorded a career-high three hits (3-for-4), three RBIs and three stolen bases. He made his first career start in the field on March 7 against Toledo, playing left – the first time he ever set foot in the outfield – and made a diving catch in foul territory for the first out in the third. He recorded a hit and a run in the win over the Rockets. Alu scored a career-high three run in the win at No. 2/3 Florida State on March 10. The righty has also pitched three times in 2017, throwing four innings, allowing two hits, one run and one walk and striking out three.
  • Junior Donovan Casey went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, a run scored and two walks in BC’s victory over Florida State on Friday. He also picked up his first save of the season pitching a 123 ninth and striking out the final out looking.  In three relief outings this season, he has allowed three hits, one run, one walk and struck out two over three innings. He earned his first career win against Toledo on March 7, pitching the final 1.2 innings. He currently leads the Eagles with a .296 batting average and is tied for the team lead with 16 hits.

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