BC BASEBALL Weekend Preview: Eagles Travel to Notre Dame
BC heads out on the road for the first time in April
MATCHUP: Boston College (14-26, 5-16 ACC) at Notre Dame (18-23, 8-13 ACC)
WHERE: Frank Eck Stadium in South Bend, Ind.
WHEN: Friday, April 27 at 6:05 p.m. | Saturday, April 28 at 1:05 p.m. | Sunday, April 29 at 1:05 p.m.
RECORD vs. Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish lead the all-time series, 28-13
FRIDAY: RHP Jacob Stevens (3-5, 4.99 ERA) vs. LHP Scott Tully (4-1, 4.19 ERA)
SATURDAY: LHP Dan Metzdorf (0-6, 5.58 ERA) vs. RHP Zack Martin (1-0, 3.58 ERA)
SUNDAY: RHP Brian Rapp (3-5, 3.81 ERA) vs. TBA
Scouting the Irish
- Notre Dame comes into the series with an 18-23 overall record, 8-13 in the ACC. The Irish have won eight of 15 home games in 2018.
- The Irish are coming off a 6-5 victory over Valparaiso at home on Wednesday night. Over the weekend, Notre Dame took two of three from Virginia Tech, including a 12-inning victory, at home.
- Notre Dame also took the series against Wake Forest, winning two of three. The Irish lost at NC State, at Florida State, at Miami, and against Clemson, winning one game each. They were swept by Duke in Durham, N.C.
- The Irish are led by Nick Podkul, who has a .338 average, sixth in the ACC, with 52 hits, 26 walks, and a .539 slugging percentage. He is second to Matt Vierling’s 31 RBIs.
- Friday starter lefty Scott Tully has a 4.19 ERA over 10 starts. He has allowed 51 hits, 29 runs – 27 earned – 29 walks and 34 strikeouts over 58.0 innings. In his last outing against the Hokies, he went 8.1 innings, allowed 11 hits and five runs, walked just one and struck out five in a no-decision.
- Right-hander Zack Martin has a 3.58 ERA and a 1-0 record in 11 appearances, making five starts. Over 32.2 innings, he has given up 25 hits, 13 runs – all earned – 17 walks and has struck out 26. He threw just three innings against the Hokies, allowed three hits, three runs, and four walks. He struck out two.
- Freshman left-hander Cole Kmet has eight saves on the year with a 4.81 ERA. He is tied for second in the ACC for his save total. RHP Andrew Belcik leads the conference with 25 appearances on the year.
- Notre Dame holds a 28-13 all-time series advantage that dates back to the two teams’ time in the Big East.
- The Irish won the first seven meetings before BC opened a three-game series with a 10-7 win in South Bend on April 17, 1999.
- Since the Irish joined the ACC in 2014, BC is 4-8.
- Last year, the Eagles swept Notre Dame at home to close out their time at Pellagrini Diamond.
- It marked the first series win for the Eagles against the Irish.
- The last time BC visited South Bend, the Irish collected three victories, including a come-from-behind victory in the third game.
- The first ACC meeting came in 2014 in Chicago. BC earned a 4-1, 11-inning win in the series opener before ND swept a doubleheader.
- In nine career games against Notre Dame, senior Jake Palomaki has 11 hits, 11 runs, five RBIs and nine walks for a .344 batting average.
- In his start last season, junior RHP Jacob Stevens allowed just two runs and two walks over seven innings with 10 strikeouts.
- Former BC baseball coach Mik Aoki (2007-10) is the head coach at Notre Dame. He compiled a 114-108-1 record at the helm, 48-69 in ACC action. Aoki led BC to its first ACC Tournament appearances in 2009 and 2010 and BC’s first NCAA Tournament berth since 1967 in 2009.
- The Eagles played the longest game in NCAA history – a 25-inning, 3-2 loss at Texas – at the 2009 Austin Regional.
- The Eagles set 13 school records under Aoki, including hits (649), doubles (151), saves (14-tied) and fielding percentage (.979).
- BC head coach Mike Gambino and Aoki were assistants together on the BC staff under Pete Hughes in 2004 and 2005. The Eagles’ 37 wins in 2005 still stand as a program record.
WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE EAGLES
- The Eagles return to the road for the first trip in April. They lost three to No. 12 Clemson to close out March before hosting three straight ACC series at home.
- The Boston College baseball team collected a 9-4 victory at UMass Lowell on Tuesday after dropping three games to No. 17 Florida State over the weekend. The Eagles’ last ACC victory came on April 8 in an 8-0 win against Pittsburgh. They were swept at home by Wake Forest and the Noles.
- The Eagles’ 76 stolen bases are second in the ACC and ninth in the nation. They are tied for fifth in school record books.
- Freshman Chris Galland is currently tied for second on the school’s single-season stolen base list with 26. The record is 27. He is eighth in the ACC with a .333 batting average and has reached base safely in the last 15 games.
- Palomaki has at least one hit and scored in the last five games. He has reached base in 36 of the Eagles’ 40 games this season with a hit in 28 of them. His .331 batting average is ninth in the ACC while his 56 hits are sixth and his 16 stolen bases are tied for fifth. His 142 career walks are first in BC record books, as he topped the list in three years.
- Sophomore Joe Suozzi has logged 12 hits, 11 runs, five RBIs, three doubles and one home run in 12 starts.
- Junior RHP Thomas Lane has inherited 27 runners in his team-leading 23 appearances out of the bullpen. Just four have scored and all since April 13. He is second on the bullpen staff with 26 Ks and has the lowest opponent batting average at .159.
- Junior RHP Jacob Stevens now owns the top spot in BC record books with 40 career starts. His 199 career strikeouts rank seventh.
- Junior Gian Martellini is tied for first in the ACC with 13 runners caught stealing. He reached base safely in 19 straight games – the longest of the season for any BC player.
- In four starts from March 24 to April 13 – 27.2 innings – junior LHP Dan Metzdorf struck out 39 batters. In the series-clinching win against Virginia Tech on March 24, he struck out a career-high 13 over eight innings. It was the first time in 11 years a BC pitcher recorded 13 Ks.
- Sophomore Brian Dempsey has reached base safely in the 36 of the 40 games this season. He is tied for second in the conference with eight sacrifice hits. One more will put in him in BC’s career top 10.
- Sophomore Jack Cunningham has logged at least one hit and one RBI in six of the last seven games. He has at least one hit in 29 of the Eagles’ 40 games this season.
- Junior RHP Sean Hughes has not allowed an earned run in 15 of his 18 appearances in 2018. Over 15.2 innings, he has allowed three earned runs for a bullpen-low 1.72 ERA and struck out 20.
- After allowing runs in his first eight appearances in 2018, junior RHP John Witkowski has settled in and given up just three runs in his last seven appearances – 13.2 innings. He threw a career-high four innings and tallied a career-high five Ks in his first save of the season against Massachusetts on April 10.
- The Irish will host its Annual ALS Awareness Game on Saturday.
- On April 21, the Eagles hosted FSU at Fenway Park in the Seventh Annual ALS Awareness Game in honor of former captain Pete Frates (2004-07). BC dropped the game, 13-7, but saw a record-number 5,433 fans in attendance.
- Frates was diagnosed with ALS in March 2012 and was the catalyst behind the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that raised over $220 million.
- He captained the Eagles under current Notre Dame head coach Mik Aoki in 2007.
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