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Eagles Face Red Sox Friday In Exhibition Game

Jarett Mendoza leads BC in both home runs (3) and RBIs (6).

Jarett Mendoza leads BC in both home runs (3) and RBIs (6).

March 2, 2000

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Boston College faces the Boston Red Sox for the eighth consecutive season. The Eagles have not won the annual contest, beginning in 1993. Last year's 4-3 loss was the closest decision in the two teams' history.

LAST GAME: In last year's meeting, March 5, BC led the Red Sox 3-1 in the fourth inning after a two-run home run by freshman Brian Macchi. A two-run triple gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead but did not end the Eagles' hopes. After senior co-captain Sonny Nictakis and freshman Scott Foley reached base, senior first baseman Sean McGowan stepped into the batter's box. With two outs and the game on the line, the powerful McGowan grounded out.

LAST TIME OUT: Steve Langone pitched a shutout and hit .571 for four games while Jarett Mendoza went 8-for-16 to help BC split its four-game weekend series at the College of Charleston.

Mendoza's four hits - including two home runs - in the first game helped BC to a 13-6 victory on Saturday, Feb. 12. Eagle ace and co-captain Andy Sullivan pitched five innings without an earned run to record the win in that contest. Mendoza added a third home run in the nightcap but the Eagles came up short with a 4-3 decision.

Behind Langone's complete-game shutout, BC won 9-0 on Sunday. On the mound, the Reading, Mass. native scattered three hits in 7.0 innings while also recording two hits, one a home run, at the plate. Sophomore catcher Jeff Mackor connected on four hits in four at bats, including his second home run in two days.

Mike Hubbard went 3-for-4 to lead the Eagles in the final game. Third baseman Chris Rosado had two hits. However, the Cougars posted 10 runs in the third inning to erase a 7-0 deficit en route to a 19-11 Cougar victory.

BIG EAST NEWS: Steve Langone and Jarett Mendoza were named BIG EAST Pitcher and Player of the Week, respectively for their play through Feb. 20. Langone, a preseason All-BIG EAST team selection, has been distinguished for his pitching prowess by the conference three times (February 21, 2000, May 17, 1999, April 27, 1998).

Mendoza became Boston College's 15th player to win the weekly conference award, which began in 1985. In addition to Langone, Doug MacNeil ('91) received the BIG EAST Pitcher-of-the-Week distinguishment three times while teammates Curt Romboli ('95) and Mark Bettencourt ('95) earned the recognition twice. Eagle newcomer Neal McCarthy earned BIG EAST Rookie -of-the-Week honors twice last season (May 4, 1999, May 17, 1999) while playing for Providence.

WHO'S HOT: Steve Langone and Jarett Mendoza head Boston College's offensive charge. After four games, Langone has a team-high .571 batting average. Five of his eight hits are doubles. He tied co-captain Mike Quirk with four walks, while both players have struck out only twice. In Sunday's nightcap, Quirk walked in three consecutive plate appearances.

Mendoza leads BC in both the home run (3) and RBI (6) categories. Sophomores Brian Durkin and Jeff Mackor follow, batting .438 and .400, respectively. Each player has slammed a four-base hit. Jeff Mackor has two homers while Durkin has sent one out of the park.

Neither Langone nor Andy Sullivan has allowed an earned run. The younger Sullivan, Mark, has five K's in just 2.2 innings.

PRESEASON PICKS: Langone was not the lone Eagle spotted on the preseason All-BIG EAST team. Providence transfer Neal McCarthy made the list after batting .376 with 22 doubles and 17 home runs for 69 RBIs last season. That effort placed the left fielder on Collegiate Baseball's Freshman All-American list. As a team, BC was picked to finish seventh in the conference. Rutgers (five first-place votes), Notre Dame (three) and St. John's (two) were slated as the top-three teams.

RPI: BC is currently ranked 130th with an 0.465 RPI.

COACH HUGHES: BC Head Coach Pete Hughes is ranked 50th (78 victories) among NCAA Division I skippers under the age of 45. Prior to leading the Eagles to a school-record 26 victories (26-21-1) in 1999, the 32-year-old Millis, Mass. native coached Trinity University (Texas), where the Tigers established a new school victory standard of 33-11 in 1998. Trinity went 19-19 in Hughes' first year as coach (1997).

In the list, Hughes follows BIG EAST coaches Paul Manieri of Notre Dame (11th, 361 victories). West Virginia's Greg Van Zant (153 victories) and St. John's Ed Blankmeyer (123 wins) fall at 34 and 40, respectively. Pittsburgh mentor Joe Jordano trails Hughes at 55th with 39 wins.

NATIONAL MERIT: In 1999, Boston College recorded 26 victories for the first time in the program's history. While grabbing local attention, the Eagles also became recognized nationally. At season's end, BC ranked second nationally in batting average (.354), ninth in slugging percentage (.560) and 14th in both scoring (9.04) and home runs (1.60).

Sean McGowan's 25 home runs and .916 slugging percentage ranked second in the country. The then senior was also ranked 11th in batting average (.430) and 14th in runs batted in (70). Classmate Jeff Waldron hit .399, which placed him 65th. McGowan was drafted in the third round by the San Francisco Giants while the Boston Red Sox took Waldron in the 18th round.

CONFERENCE KUDOS: Three BIG EAST squads - Providence, Notre Dame and Rutgers - earned NCAA bids in 1999. The league champion Friars, who had been picked seventh in the preseason, set a conference record with 49 victories, before falling to eventual national runner-up Florida State in the NCAA Regionals.

1999 GENESIS: BC kicked off last season with an eight-game road trip to Florida. Starting the season off hot for the Eagles were outfielders Jarett Mendoza and Brian Macchi. Mendoza engineered BC's 6-2 start from the leadoff position, hitting .531 (17-for-32) while scoring 12 runs. Macchi batted .625 with two doubles.

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