About the Eagles
Boston College is coming off a 19-34 season in 2022 as it opens 2023 at Pepperdine; the first match-up between the two schools and BC’s first trip to California since opening weekend 2018 at Santa Clara. The Eagles roll into their first series with a pair of Division III graduate transfers at the top of the rotation with second-year BC right-hander Henry Leake in the Friday spot. He emerged in the rotation midway through the ACC season last year with six-shutout innings at NC State and finished the season with a 2-3 record and a 6.27 earned run average. Leake is followed by Chris Flynn on Saturday. Flynn was a two-time all-conference selection at Roger Williams and went 7-2 last year with a 2.21 ERA and 0.82 WHIP. At the plate, Boston College returns five players that hit five or more home runs, including right fielder Cameron Leary, who went up top 16 times. First baseman Joe Vetrano clubbed 13 homers and added 50 RBI with a .308 average, while left fielder Travis Honeyman hit a team-high .329.
BC is 26-24 in season openers on record and 7-5 under Mike Gambino. The Eagles opened 2022 with an 8-3 win at Austin Peay. It marked the fifth straight opening-day win; the most on record in program history. The Eagles previously won four straight opening days under Eddie Pellagrini from 1975-78.
West Carries No. 8 Tradition
Junior pitcher John West was voted by coaches and teammates to wear No. 8 in 2023 in honor of Peter “Sonny” Nictakis. West became the 12th player to earn the honor since Gambino (‘99) instituted the team tradition to remember his teammate. Nictakis was a two-time captain for the Eagles in 1998 and 1999. He lost his courageous seven-year battle with Hodgkin’s disease in the summer of 2000. Until 2011, his No. 8 had not been worn since his final season.
Graduate catcher Peter Burns is the first three-time captain in BC history. Burns is joined by graduate pitcher Henry Leake and senior infielder Vince Cimini, who was elected to wear the No. 8 in honor of Sonny Nictakis in 2022.
Travis Honeyman was selected to the Baseball America Preseason All-America Third Team. Honeyman, who had just 14 plate appearances as a freshman, hit a team-leading .329 a season ago after being named the New England Collegiate Baseball League MVP as he set the batting record at .430 in the summer of 2021. He followed that with an All-Star summer in the Cape Cod Baseball League in 2022. Honeyman is rated as the No. 23 prospect for the 2023 MLB Draft by MLB.com.