BC BASEBALL Weekend Preview: Eagles Head to Durham
BC looks for conference wins at Duke
MATCHUP: Boston College (10-20, 1-14 ACC) at Duke (18-17, 6-9 ACC)
WHERE: Jack Coombs Field in Durham, N.C.
WHEN: Friday, April 14 at 6 p.m. | Saturday, April 15 at 1 p.m. | Sunday, April 16 at 1 p.m.
RECORD vs. Duke: BC leads the series, 16-11
Friday: BC: RHP Jacob Stevens (2-4, 5.32 ERA) vs. LHP Mitch Stallings (3-2, 4.12 ERA)
Saturday: LHP Dan Metzdorf (1-5, 4.91 ERA) vs. TBA
Sunday: RHP Brian Rapp (0-1, 4.24 ERA) vs. RHP Ryan Day (2-2, 2.11 ERA)
Scouting the Blue Devils
- Duke comes into the weekend with a midweek victory over Campbell. Last weekend, the Blue Devils lost two of three at Miami, winning the series finale, 5-2, in 10 innings.
- Their only ACC series victory came against Virginia Tech the first weekend of conference play as they swept the Hokies. They have lost to Wake Forest, Virginia, and Pitt. They have earned a win in each series.
- Duke is eighth in the ACC with a .275 batting average and 11th overall with a 5.01 team ERA. The Blue Devils’ .971 fielding percentage is sixth.
- Griffin Conine leads the everyday players with a .333 batting average, 45 hits, 10 home runs, and 42 RBIs. He is fourth in the ACC for his slugging percentage and home –run total and tied for sixth with 37 runs scored.
- Friday starter Mitch Stallings allowed six hits, four runs – three earned – and struck out eight while not allowing a walk to Miami on April 8. The Hurricanes scored four off closer Jack Labosky to pick up the walk-off win.
- Sunday starter Ryan Day collected the victory against the Hurricanes on Monday. He allowed just one hit over a seven-inning start and did not walk a batter. He struck out six. His .210 opponent batting average is eighth in the league.
- The Eagles and Blue Devils are meeting for the first time since 2015 and the first in Durham since 2013.
- BC and Duke have traded series sweeps in the last two matchups. BC swept the series in 2015, hosting Duke in Newark, Del., while Duke earned wins in all three games in 2013 when the teams met at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
- The Eagles hold the advantage in the all-time series, winning 16 of the 27 meetings. They are 6-6 in Durham.
- The two squads faced off every year from 2006 – when the Eagles joined the ACC – until 2013.
- The Eagles have logged series wins five of the nine meetings. They have swept the series three times – in 2007, 2008 and 2015. Duke’s only sweep was in 2013.
- BC picked up six wins in Durham with a sweep in 2007, one win in 2009 and by taking two-of-three in 2011.
- Seventh-year head coach Mike Gambino is 6-6 against the Blue Devils, leading the team to series victories in 2011 and 2015.
- The Eagles are looking for their first conference wins since opening the ACC slate with an 8-5 victory over then second-ranked Florida State in Tallahassee on March 10.
WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE EAGLES
- For just the second time in ACC play, the Eagles are not playing a top-10 team. Last weekend’s matchup against fourth-ranked North Carolina was the fourth top-10 contact for the Eagles. They started at then-No. 2 Florida State, traveled to then top-ranked Louisville and hosted sixth-ranked Clemson in Rhode Island before taking on the No. 4 Heels.
- Junior Donovan Casey has been hot at the plate and on the mound. In the last 13 games, he is 18-for-50 (.360) with a .560 slugging percentage and a .421 on-base percentage. He’s logged 12 runs, two doubles, a triple, two home runs, nine RBIs, five walks and just four strikeouts. He has also recorded a sac fly, two stolen bases, and three outfield assists. On the mound, he has 11 strikeouts over 9.2 innings with a win and a save. He has a hit in seven of the last nine games and hit for the cycle in the March 29 victory over Massachusetts.
- Also making waves at the plate and on the mound is junior Mitch Bigras. He recorded his first career save in the victory over Harvard on April 12, pitching the ninth and logging a strikeout. In the last five games, he is 7-for-16 (.438) with two RBIs, two runs, a walk and a stolen base. He has made four appearances in 2017 – 4.0 innings – and has not allowed a hit or run. He has allowed just two walks while striking out six.
- Sophomore Jake Alu recorded a career-long, eight-game hit streak from March 26 to April 9. In that time, he recorded 14 hits, six runs, six RBIs, three doubles, four walks, was 2-for-2 on the base path and only struck out twice. He led the team in the span with a .519 batting average. Now an everyday player, Alu leads the Eagles with a .273 batting average in ACC games and 15 hits in conference contests. Sophomore RHP Jack Nelson has allowed four earned runs over 25.0 innings, leading the BC bullpen with a 1.44 ERA. All four earned runs have come to top-10 teams, as he allowed three at then No. 2 Florida State on March 10 and one to No. 4 North Carolina on April 8. In his last eight outings – 21.0 innings – which includes three starts, Nelson has given up just one earned run. He is 3-0 on the year and is the only BC pitcher with a perfect winning percentage.
- Junior Jake Palomaki started 116 straight games before a hamstring injury suffered at Louisville on March 18 forced him to miss 10 games. He returned to the diamond as a defensive replaced in the eighth inning on April 8 and drew his 99th career walk at the plate. He is tied for third in BC record books.
- Freshman Jacob Yish has played in six games for the Eagles, including the last four, and has recorded a hit in three of them. He came in as a pinch hitter against UNC on April 8 and recorded his first career hit and then in the following game, he went 1-for-2 with two RBIs. He logged a RBI in the form of a sac fly in the third game against the Tar Heels and against Harvard on April 11, he went 1-for-3 for his third hit in four games.
- Sophomore Gian Martellini has at least one hit in eight of the last nine games and he has reached base in all nine, the longest current on-base streak for the Eagles. He recorded a career-long, seven-game hit streak from March 29 to April 9, tallying eight hits, seven runs, six RBIs, two doubles, a triple and two home runs. In the 29 games played, he has logged at least one in 23 games. Martellini is tied for the team lead with 18 RBIs and leads the way with a .450 slugging percentage.
- Senior Michael Strem has six outfield assists, third in the nation. Strem’s career doubles total is up to 55, second all-time. His 15-game on-base streak was the longest of the season for the Eagles.