MIAMI, Fla. - The Boston College baseball team (5-6) opens its ACC schedule with a three-game series at No. 13 Miami (8-3) beginning Friday night at Alex Rodriguez Park.
The two teams met four times last year and split the series. Miami won the regular season series, 2-1, in Boston, but the Eagles won 10-1 in the ACC Championship en route to their first NCAA Tournament berth in 42 years.
Both Friday's and Saturday night's game will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday's contest will be broadcast live by Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS). Sunday's series finale is slated for 1 p.m.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCH UPS (BC listed first)
Friday: LHP Pat Dean (2-0, 3.86) vs. LHP Chris Hernandez (1-1, 2.65)
Saturday: RHP Kevin Moran (1-1, 9.31) vs. RHP Jason Santana (0-1, 9.00)
Sunday: RHP Mike Dennhardt (1-2, 12.66) vs. LHP Eric Erickson (1-1, 3.00)
WEEKEND WEATHER FORECAST
Friday: 80 percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the high 60s.
Saturday: Clouds giving way to sun. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the mid 50s.
Sunday: More sun than clouds. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the mid 50s.
BC OPENS ACC PLAY AT NO. 13 MIAMI
The Boston College baseball team completes its trip Florida by taking on No. 13 Miami in a three-game series beginning Friday night at 7 p.m. at Alex Rodriguez Park.
Both Friday's and Saturday night's game will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday's contest will be aired live by CSS.
The finale is slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The two teams split four games last year as the Hurricanes took two of three from the Eagles during the regular season, but BC beat Miami in the ACC Tournament.
EAGLES SPLIT AT FIU
Boston College is coming off a two-game split at FIU on Tuesday and Wednesday night.
BC won the first game, 11-5, while the Panthers won game two in a wild one, 18-14. The Eagles were down 14-6 after five innings and came back to tie the game before losing.
The Eagles hit .384 as a team with six players hitting over .400 in the two games. Junior INF Matt Hamlet led the team with a .556 average with four RBI. Junior INF Mickey Wiswall led BC with six RBI.
THE MEETINGS LAST SEASON
BC and Miami split four meetings in 2009.
The Hurricanes took the first two games of the series last year in Boston before the Eagles salvaged a game on Sunday.
The Eagles also beat Miami in the ACC Championship, 10-1, to clinch a berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Junior LHP Pat Dean went 2-0 against the `Canes with a 0.64 ERA in two starts. He threw 14.0 innings and allowed one run. He struck out 12 and walked just one.
Sophomore INF Brad Zapenas hit a team-best .444 in the three-game series in Boston.
Senior CF Robbie Anston emerged as one of the top leadoff hitters in the ACC last year and he has taken it even further this season.
He leads the conference in doubles (7), triples (4), extra base hits (12) and total bases (40), is third in runs scored (20), fourth in hits (22) and slugging (.833), eighth in batting average (.458) and 13th in on-base percentage (.536).
When Anston leads off an inning, he is batting .524 (11-for-21) and he has scored six times in the first inning.
Anston is currently on a 20-game hitting streak dating back to last season and he has a hit in 27 of his last 28 games.
THE TRAVELS OF A NEW ENGLAND TEAM
BC will travel nearly 10,000 miles before its first home game on March 23. In fact, approximate numbers by Google Maps puts the number at 9,999 miles.
Boston College opened the season with a series win at Tulane in New Orleans, La.
The Eagles then went to Auburn for three games vs. the Tigers, Florida Atlantic and Missouri.
BC went back to campus on Sunday from Auburn before leaving for Fort Myers on March 2 to play the Red Sox.
The Eagles will spend 13 days in Florida with a series at both Florida Atlantic and Florida International before opening ACC play on March 12 at Miami.
BC will then take bus trips to UConn and Bryant on March 16 and 17, respectively, before traveling to Virginia on the weekend of March 19-21.
JOHNNY ON THE SPAT
Senior OF John Spatola has had a big bat this season and he had a monster game against Missouri on February 28.
The former walk-on smashed two three-run homers and added a double in a 3-for-4 effort.
Spatola drove in a career-high seven runs, which was more runs than the Tigers had as a team in a 14-6 win.
It was Spatola's first multi-homer game of his career.
The Milton, Mass. product leads the ACC with five homers, is third in slugging (.857), fifth in total bases (36), eighth in RBI (16) and 12th in batting average (.429).
Junior INF Matt Hamlet is not only exceptional in the field, he is also stepping it up at the plate.
Hamlet has not committed an error in his last 64 games. The last time he made an error was on May 11, 2008 - his freshman year.
He was one of four players in the ACC last year to not commit an error despite playing both infield and outfield.
The Chesapeake, Va. native is batting .362 with four doubles, two homers and 11 RBI. He has seven RBI in the last four games and drove in a career-high four runs against FIU on Tuesday.
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
Junior C/INF Garret Smith started at shortstop in high school and was the starting shortstop last year for BC, but now he is the starting catcher.
Smith had never caught a game in his life entering the season.
His defense is needed to replace the loss of All-American Tony Sanchez and his experienced bat is needed as well.
He is a career .277 hitter and has started 92 games since he arrived on campus in 2008.
MELCH MAKES AN IMPACT
Sophomore INF Anthony Melchionda, who saw limited time last year as the backup third baseman, has started all 11 games at first base.
He is also the clean-up hitter and has produced in that spot.
Melchionda is third on the team in batting average (.388) and RBI (13).
Melchionda had five RBI in his first six at-bats to start the season and he has a hit in all 11 games.
Freshman C/DH Matt Watson has had a solid start to his collegiate career as the DH.
The Portland, Maine product is batting .341 with two doubles, two homers and eight RBI.
He hit a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the seventh on Wednesday night to tie the game against FIU, 14-14. BC had been down 14-6 after five innings.
BC has used a pair of freshman out of the bullpen this season.
RHP Hunter Gordon and RHP Jay Jeannotte have both been used by head coach Mik Aoki.
Gordon is sporting the best ERA on the team in three appearances at 1.50. He has worked 6.0 innings and allowed four runs - one earned - on eight hits. He has struck out two and walked three.
Jeannotte has made three appearances for BC and has thrown 3.0 innings while allowing two runs on five hits.
Junior INF Mickey Wiswall has produced from the No. 3 spot in the batting order.
He ranks third in the ACC in RBI (21) and has an RBI in 10 of the 11 games this season.
He has recorded multiple RBI in five of those games.
The Stonehman, Mass. product ranks second on the team in doubles (4) and home runs (3) and third in runs (13), slugging (.638) and on-base percentage (.429).
WISWALL NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN
Junior INF Mickey Wiswall was named to the Baseball America Preseason All-America Second Team.
A product of nearby Stoneham, Wiswall was an All-ACC Second Team and All-Northeast Region Second Team selection last year.
He was also named to the Austin Regional and ACC All-Tournament teams. He was one of two players to start all 60 games last season and he has started 107 games in his two years at BC.
Wiswall led one of the best offenses BC had ever seen in 2009 with 14 home runs, 63 RBI and 141 total bases. His RBI and hit (82) totals rank second in a season in program history and his 14 home runs rank third.
Wiswall was also second on the team in slugging (.551) and fourth in batting average (.320). He ranked seventh in the ACC in RBI, ninth in homers, 12th in total bases and 15th in hits.
...AND TO THE GOLDEN SPIKES WATCH LIST
Wiswall was also named one of 50 members to the Golden Spikes Award Watch List, marking USA Baseball's first step toward identifying the top amateur baseball player in the country.
Sponsored by Major League Baseball, the Golden Spikes Award will be presented in 2010 for the 33rd time.
On June 1, USA Baseball officials will cut the watch list of players to 30 names.
The final list of 30 will then be sent to a voting body consisting of select professional baseball personnel, past USA Baseball National Team coaches, select members of the media, former USA Baseball sports information directors and current USA Baseball staff.
Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2010. June 1 will mark the day when college baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite player on GoldenSpikesAward.com.
On June 8, USA Baseball will announce the five finalists and voting will once again commence that same day.
The 2010 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award will be presented July 13 on an award show via live telecast from Anaheim on GoldenSpikesAward.com, USABaseball.com and MLB.com in conjunction with All-Star FanFest.
The Eagles have made a habit of getting ahead early in the ball game.
BC scored first in 41 of its 60 games and scored in the first inning 26 times last season.
Boston College is doing much of the same this season. It has scored first in nine of the 11 games this season.
Senior CF Robbie Anston has scored in the first inning six times.
DEAN IS DOMINANT
Junior LHP Pat Dean earned a spot on the weekend rotation on April 12 of last season and hasn't looked back since.
Twelve of his last 18 outings on the mound have been quality starts.
The Naugatuck, Conn. native is the workhorse of the team with 21.0 innings pitched, which ranks third in the ACC. He has thrown 7.0 innings and tossed over 100 pitches in each of his three starts.
He is currently 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA with 16 strikeouts and five walks.
Boston College hit 58 home runs last year - the most since 2000 when it also had 58.
It also had three players with 10 or more home runs in Mike Belfiore (11), Tony Sanchez (14) and Mickey Wiswall (14).
The Eagles' three players with double-digit homers was the most in program history.
BC did not have a player with 10 or more homers since 2002.
Boston College hit 24 round-trippers in 22 games at Eddie Pellagrini Diamond at Commander Shea Field last year. In all of 2008, the Eagles hit just eight out of Shea Field in 21 games.
The Eagles are back at it again this season as they have hit 16 home runs in 11 games.
Senior OF John Spatola leads the team with five blasts, with two of them coming February 28 against Missouri.
Junior INF Mickey Wiswall is second on the team with three round-trippers while junior Matt Hamlet, sophomore Marc Perdios and freshman Matt Watson each have two.
BC has hit a homer in all but one game this year and have five games with multiple homers.
BC had 142 RBI with two outs last season and Mike Belfiore led the team with 33.
Junior INF Mickey Wiswall was second on the team with 22 two-out RBI and Tony Sanchez had 15.
A total of 37 percent of the RBI that BC has recorded came with two outs.
BC has 38 two-out RBI so far this season. BC's 3-4-5 hitters have combined for 25 of those RBI with junior INF Mickey Wiswall leading the way with 10.
In the Eagles' 11-5 win at FIU on Tuesday, all of the runs crossed the plate with two outs.
A total of 46 percent of the runs this season have been scored with two outs.
BC forced the action last season with sacrifices and stolen bases and has been doing it again this year.
The Eagles had 73 sacrifice hits in 2009 which led the ACC and was fourth in the nation.
Miami was second in the conference in the category with 45.
Twelve different players successfully moved runners along.
The Eagles were also 41-for-72 when attempting to steal last season.
Senior CF Robbie Anston led the team with 15 stolen bases on 18 attempts.
A total of 11 players stole at least one base.
This season, BC ranks second in the conference with 12 sac bunts.
EAGLES FALL TO RED SOX IN EXHIBITION
The Boston Red Sox defeated Boston College, 6-1, in an exhibition game March 3 in front of 4,577 fans at City of Palms Park.
Sophomore OF Spenser Payne drove in the only run for BC in the fifth inning. Senior OF Mike Sudol and freshman INF Philip Miclat had the other hits for the Eagles.
Sophomore Taylor Lasko pitched a perfect fifth inning on the mound and had a strikeout. Senior Chris Kowalski was the only other pitcher to not allow a run in his inning of work.
Both starters figured in the decision despite pitching just the first inning. Boof Bonser picked up the win after a perfect first and senior Geoff Oxley was saddled with the loss after surrendering a run in the bottom half of the frame.
EAGLES TAKE SERIES AT TULANE
Boston College traveled to New Orleans to start the year and took two of three from the Green Wave at Turchin Stadium.
The Eagles won the first two games by a combined 20-5. Their starting pitching was dominant in those contests, throwing 14.0 innings and allowing two runs on eight hits.
The offense was spurred by senior CF Robbie Anston and sophomore INF Anthony Melchionda. Anston hit .429 with four runs, four RBI and a .714 slugging percentage. Melchionda batted .400 with a homer and seven RBI.
Senior OF John Spatola hit a pair of solo home runs as well.
PUT THE BROOMS AWAY
For the first time since 2005, Boston College did not get swept in a three-game series in 2009.
The Eagles won four of the first five ACC series of the season against Florida State, Maryland, NC State and Wake Forest.
BC lost two games each in series against Clemson, Virginia, Duke, Miami and North Carolina.
In their two series this season, the Eagles have gone 3-3.
EAGLES PICKED THIRD IN ATLANTIC
The Boston College baseball team was picked to finish third in the ACC Atlantic Division in a preseason vote of the conference's 12 head coaches.
The Eagles' third-place pick was the highest they have been voted in the ACC preseason poll since their first season in the league in 2006.
BC was picked to finish fifth in each of the last three seasons.
Florida State garnered 10 first-place votes in the Atlantic and is the coaches' pick to win the division. Clemson earned two first-place votes and finished in second. NC State, Wake Forest and Maryland were fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Defending ACC champion Virginia is the coaches' selection to win the Coastal Division and become the overall champion. It earned 11 first-place votes to win the division and eight to win the entire conference.
Florida State received three votes to win the ACC and North Carolina had the other vote.
MORAN NAMED TO STOPPER WATCH LIST
Junior RHP Kevin Moran was named to the initial watch list for the sixth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in the nation.
Moran, a product of Yarmouthport, Mass., made 26 appearances out of the bullpen in 2009 and emerged as the go-to reliever for BC.
The fiery righty finished 2009 with a 5-2 record and a 2.75 ERA in 52.1 innings of work.
He allowed 22 runs (16 earned) on 51 hits and struck out 37 while walking 26 batters.
Moran has been moved to the starter role with BC's early pitching struggles. In his one start last Sunday at Florida Atlantic, he went 4.1 innings and allowed seven earned runs on six hits.
2009 AT A GLANCE
Boston College had a number of firsts and bests during the 2009 season.
The Eagles advanced to their first NCAA postseason since 1967 - a total of 42 years.
They advanced to their first ACC Championship where they went 2-1 to earn a berth into the Austin Regional.
Junior C Tony Sanchez was the first All-America first team honoree in school history when Baseball America put him on that list. He was also the first All-ACC first teamer BC has had.
Sanchez was drafted with the No. 4 overall pick in the MLB First-Year Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was the highest any BC player has been drafted in baseball and only football's Matt Ryan (No. 3) has been drafted higher in any other sport.
Senior CF Robbie Anston broke the single-season hits record and junior INF Mickey Wiswall tied the previous mark. Anston finished with 85 and Wiswall had 82. The previous record was Jared McGuire's 82 hits in 2007.
THE 30-WIN MARK
The Eagles reached the 30-win mark last season for the first time since 2005 and it was the sixth time they reached that number in program history.
The Eagles' 34 wins in 2009 was the third-most in program history.
BIG SHOES TO FILL
The Eagles had to replace a few very important pieces that left early for the MLB Draft.
C Tony Sanchez was drafted fourth overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates - the highest anyone from BC has been drafted.
Nobody on the Boston College roster had seen time in a game behind the plate going into the season, but junior C/INF Garret Smith has taken over behind the plate. Freshmen Anthony Italiano and Matt Watson have also earned starts behind the dish.
LHP/1B Mike Belfiore was drafted by Arizona in Comp Round A (45th overall). He was BC's closer (nine saves) and was an important piece to the lineup (.273, 11 HR, 62 RBI).
Sophomore RHP Matt Brazis has taken over the closer role and sophomore Anthony Melchionda has performed well at first base.
Barry Butera, who spent time in RF and in the infield, was drafted in the 21st round by Houston.
Senior captain John Spatola made the move from first base to right field.
CAPE LEAGUE ALL-STARS
A pair of BC baseball players earned Cape Cod Baseball League all-star accolades last year.
Junior RHP John Leonard and junior INF Mickey Wiswall both played in the all-star game at Fenway Park. They both played for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
Leonard went 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA in 10 appearances (six starts) on the mound. He threw 35.0 innings and allowed 15 runs (10 earned) on 33 hits. He struck out 26 and walked 10.
Wiswall batted .302 over the summer with eight doubles, five home runs and 30 RBI and was named the league's New England Player of the Year.
The pair helped lead Y-D to the Eastern Division title with a 28-15-1 record.
Four other players earned all-star accolades in their respective summer leagues last year.
Senior RHP Chris Kowalski was named to the Eastern All-Star Team in the New England Collegiate Baseball League as the team's closer.
Junior INF Matt Hamlet was named the starting second baseman for the National All-Stars in the Coastal Plains League and served as the team's leadoff hitter.
Finally, sophomore RHP Matt Brazis and sophomore INF Anthony Melchionda were both all-stars in the Valley Baseball League.
HARD TO REPLACE
BC lost two of its most productive hitters from last season to the draft in Mike Belfiore and Tony Sanchez.
Belfiore smacked 11 home runs and drove in 62 which ranked third and second on the team, respectively, in 2009. Sanchez belted 14 homers and 63 runs and was third with 51 RBI.
The Eagles returned junior INF Mickey Wiswall who batted .320 and also had 14 homers and 63 RBI. He is batting .319 with four doubles, three homers and 21 RBI in the three-hole.
Sophomore INF Anthony Melchionda has done his part as the clean-up hitter, batting .388 with a round-tripper and 13 RBI.
Senior captain John Spatola is in the fifth spot in the order and is hitting .429 with five home runs and 16 RBI. He is slugging at a .638 clip.
THE LONGEST GAME
BC made history when it played the No. 1 national seed Texas in the second game of the Austin Regional at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
The two teams battled for 25 innings before Texas finally scored in the top of the inning to win, 3-2. It was the longest game in NCAA history.
Below are a few highlights from the historic evening:
- Both teams received a standing ovation at the conclusion of the game
- It was 96 degrees at first pitch at 6:02 p.m. The game finished at 78 degrees at 1:05 a.m.
- Texas introduced the 21st inning stretch
- There were 683 pitches thrown in the game
- Texas stranded 24 men on base
- There were 11 walks in the game compared to 42 strikeouts
- The 10 p.m. ET game at UC Irvine game started and finished
- BC and Texas combined to set NCAA records with 42 strikeouts, 222 total chances, 69 assists, 192 plate appearances and 171 at-bats.