A very successful spring saw the Boston College baseball team go 37-20 overall, 16-14 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and spent several weeks in the Top-25 polls. They made a trip to the NCAA Baseball Tournament for the first time since 2016. There are changes taking place at the Heights that have next spring and beyond in mind. The first of those changes is the head coach. Mike Giambino left the program after the tournament run was completed to take the head job at Penn State. He was replaced by Todd Interdonato who arrived at BC after 16 years as the head coach of Wofford College where he won 450 games as the head man.
On Friday of last week, Interdonato filled out his coaching staff ahead of fall ball. There is a new pitching coach and a new infield/hitting coach. The pitching coach is Ryan Forrest who comes to Boston College after spending six seasons as the pitching coach at Air Force. In 2022, the staff recorded the most strikeouts in program history with 455. He is a coach that is thought highly of around the college coaching circles. During his stint at Air Force, Forrest has had the chance to work with some top-notch pitchers in the college game. Names like Paul Skenes who before transferring to LSU began his career with the Falcons. In 2021, Skenes had a 7-1 record with a 2.40 ERA, with 56 strikeouts in ten starts. His performance would not only help his school to the Mountain West Championship and a spot in the NCAA Tournament but also earned him a roster spot on that summer’s USA Collegiate Baseball National Team. The team put together a 26-win season, the most wins in program history since 1993. Their conference record of 18-16 was their best finish in program history. The pitching staff was in the top three in both strikeouts and saves. Forrest does have an understanding of playing baseball in the Northeast as he was a part of the Maine Black Bears from 2007-2009. He did play one year at Creighton University in 2006. During his stay at AFA, his pitching staff’s ERA dropped. In his first year of 2018, the staff ERA went down by 1.34 points. In 2019 the staff set a program record with an ERA of 4.50 in league play.
The new hitting/infield coach is Dan Tischler. For the past 11 seasons he has been at Columbia University. In 2019, he was promoted to Associate Head Coach. He helped the program win five Ivy League titles and coached 24 infielders to all-conference levels. In 2023, Columbia’s offensive numbers jumped. They led the conference in home runs with 72, batting average at .376, runs batted in with 340, slugging percentage at .517, and total bases with 850. That was their second straight year on top of those categories. On defense, the infield turned 42 double plays(0.93 a game) and allowed just 23 stolen bases, six of those took place in 21 league games. Those are all league-best marks. The team produced the Player of the Year in Andy Blake who committed just three errors in 21 conference games at shortstop. He also led the league in assists and was named a finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award named for the best shortstop in college baseball. 24 infielders have been named All-Conference during Tischler’s time with Columbia.
Greg Sullivan is the lone member of last season’s staff to be brought back. Sullivan will begin his 14th season with Boston College when fall baseball gets underway. Sullivan has been a big help in allowing the transition from one staff to another to go smoothly keeping the players informed during the summer months.
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