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Weekend Preview: Eagles Travel to No. 12 Clemson

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THE FACTS

MATCHUP: Boston College (9-13, 4-5 ACC) at No. 12 Clemson (19-6, 5-4 ACC)
WHERE: Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C.
WHEN: Thursday, March 29 at 4 p.m. | Friday, March 30 at 6:30 p.m. | Saturday, March 31 at 2 p.m.
RECORD vs. Clemson: The Tigers lead the series, 28-8

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

THE MATCHUP

Pitching Matchups
THURSDAY: RHP Jacob Stevens (3-2, 3.21 ERA) vs. LHP Jacob Hennessy (2-1, 2.27 ERA)
FRIDAY: LHP Dan Metzdorf (0-3, 5.81 ERA) vs.  RHP Brooks Crawford (1-1, 3.08 ERA)
SATURDAY: RHP Brian Rapp (2-2, 3.97 ERA) vs. LHP Jake Higginbotham (3-1, 3.94 ERA)

Scouting the Tigers

  • The Tigers enter the series with the Eagles with a 19-6 record and have won 14 of the 17 games played at home.
  • The 12th-ranked Tigers are coming off a weekend in which they took two of three at then-No. 11 Louisville. They dropped the series finale but rallied on Tuesday to beat Furman, 10-5, at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C.
  • Clemson started the ACC slate by sweeping Georgia Tech at home. The Tigers were then swept by then 10th-ranked NC State, also at home.
  • The Tigers are last in the ACC with a .245 batting average but ranked fourth with a 3.28 ERA. Their .975 fielding percentage ranks sixth overall.
  • Clemson is led by Chris Williams, who has a .287 batting average, 27 hits, five doubles and a .532 slugging percentage. His 26 RBIs are fifth in the ACC. Seth Beer’s seven home runs ties for fourth in the league.
  • Thursday starter LHP Jacob Hennessy is seventh in the conference with a 2.27 ERA. In six starts, he is 2-1 and has allowed 29 hits, 10 runs – nine earned – nine walks and 36 strikeouts over 35.2 innings. He picked up the win on Friday at Louisville, throwing 7.1 innings, allowing five hits, just one run, two walks and he struck out six.
  • Friday starter RHP Brooks Crawford is 1-1 with a 3.08 ERA, 12th in the ACC. In 26.1 innings, he has allowed 27 hits, nine runs – all earned – nine walks and struck out 17. In his start at Louisville, he allowed six hits, two runs, four walks and struck out two in 4.1 innings of work.
  • Saturday’s hurler, LHP Jake Higginbotham has the most wins on the Tigers roster, sitting at 3-1. He has a 3.94 ERA over six starts with 28 hits, 15 runs – 14 earned – just five walks and 23 Ks over 32 innings. He collected his first loss of the season to Louisville, giving up nine hits, four runs – all earned – while striking out one in a 4.2-inning start.
  • Righties Ryley Gilliam and Carson Spiers led the bullpen with three saves apiece.

THE SERIES

  • The Tigers have a 28-8 advantage in the all-time series and have won the last seven games.
  • The two teams did not meet before 2006 when Boston College joined the Atlantic Coast Conference.
  • BC’s last win against CU came in 2015 in an 8-7 victory in game two. The Eagles dropped the rubber match, 6-3.
  • In 2008, the Eagles earned their only series win over the Tigers, winning the first two games before dropping the series finale.
  • The Tigers have swept the Eagles five times.
  • BC collected six wins in the first five series between the two squads but just two since: in 2014 and 2015.
  • Last year, the two teams met at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, R.I., as a late-season snowstorm rendered Shea Field unplayable.
  • Current senior RHP Brian Rapp struck out eight over a seven-inning start last year, retiring 21 of the 23 batters he faced. He did not allow a walk or run and gave up just two singles in a no-decision.
  • In six career games against Clemson, senior INF Jake Palomaki is batting .320 with eight hits, three RBIs and 11 total bases against the Tigers. He did not play in last year’s series due to injury.

WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE EAGLES

  • The Eagles head to Clemson after collected their first ACC series win, taking two of three from Virginia Tech in the first home weekend of the season.
  • They are sixth in the ACC with a .267 batting average while ranking fifth with 43 doubles and second with 42 stolen bases despite playing the second-fewest games (22).
  • BC has logged at least 10 hits in 12 games in 2018, including eight of the last 13 games.
  • Senior Jake Palomaki is second in the ACC with a .415 batting average, which ranks 25th in the nation. He has reached base safely in the last 17 straight games.
  • In the series-clinching win against Virginia Tech on March 24, junior LHP Dan Metzdorf struck out a career-high 13 over eight innings, which tied a career high. He allowed just two hits and one run and did not walk a batter in the no-decision. The last BC pitcher to record 13 strikeouts was Terry Doyle in 2007. The performance earned Metzdorf ACC Co-Pitcher of the Week honors.
  • Junior RHP Thomas Lane has inherited 14 runners in his 12 appearances out of the bullpen. None have scored. He is tied for the bullpen lead with 13 Ks and has the lowest opponent batting average on the staff of just .135. He boasts a 3.43 ERA, a 1-0 record and two saves.
  • Sophomore Jack Cunningham has a hit in 17 of the Eagles’ 22 games. He notched a career-high four RBIs in the game-one win over the Hokies on March 23.
  • Junior Gian Martellini leads the ACC with 10 runners caught stealing. He has been part of four double plays this season. He has also reached base safely in the last 10 games with at least one hit in six of the last 10 games.
  • Freshman Chris Galland is tied for the ACC lead with 13 stolen bases. He is perfect on the base path, going 13-for-13. He is also tied for ninth in the league with a .357 batting clip.
  • Sophomore Brian Dempsey is seventh in the conference with a .360 batting average. He has a hit in 15 of the Eagles’ 22 games this season, tallying at least one in 29 of the last 42 games played, dating back to last year. He also reached base safely in the 20 of the 22 games this season.
  • Sophomore Dante Baldelli‘s first career home run was an epic one. He walked the Eagles off with a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth in a 2-2 game to clinch the series against Virginia Tech on March 24. The last time BC had walked off on a home run was on March 28, 2015, when first-round draft pick Chris Shaw did the honors against Duke. The four RBIs were a career high for Baldelli.
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