FIU will receive a visit tonight at 7pm from the Boston College Eagles. BC is coming off another devastating loss yesterday to Penn when Dan Houston picked up his third loss of the season. BC stands at 1-5 early this season. FIU enters the game with a 9-6 record after playing a weekend series with Wagner in which the Panthers took 2 out of three games.
The Boston College Eagles have continued to struggle early in the season with another one run loss this time to the Penn Quakers. Kyle Armeny hit the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth over the right field wall to give the Quakers the 7-6 victory. Johnny Ayers went 3-5 to lead the Eagles on offense while the Quakers were led by Alex Nwaka who went 3-4 in the victory. The Quakers will be off on Tuesday and will play St. Bonaventure on Wednesday while BC heads to FIU for a Tuesday night game.
This was Dan Houston’s third loss of the young season and hopefully the end of the experiment of him closing out game. I believe that Houston needs to head back into the rotation and switch with Adam Crabtree in the starter’s role. It makes sense since neither player is getting their current jobs done on the field.
The Florida Atlantic University Owls picked up a 15-3 victory over the Boston College Eagles to split the two game set at a game a piece. The Owls jumped on Boston College starter Adam Crabtree in the fourth inning by scoring four runs in the inning to get a 5-1 lead. Trent Kavanaugh of Boston College ended up getting the game out of control in his 1.1 innings of work by allowing six runs (all earned) while giving up five hits and three walks. Robbie Widlansky went 3-4 for the Owls while Eric Campbell of BC went 2-4 with 2 RBI. FAU will be back in action on Tuesday when they host Maine while BC plays on Monday against Penn.
The Boston College Eagles picked up a solid 6-5 victory over the FAU Owls on Saturday evening. Boston College was led by home runs from Jett Ruiz and Jared McGuire. Ryan Hutchinson also chipped in with a 4-5 game with three doubles. Kevin Boggan gave the Eagles 5.0 innings while only allowing 2 runs which both came in on a Robbie Widlansky home run. Dan Houston gave up one hit in the ninth inning before picking up his first career save. The teams close out their quick 2 game set on Sunday at 1pm.
The Vanderbilt Commodores came back from two deficits to pull out a 7-6 victory. Boston College jumped out to a 5-1 lead after 3 innings. Vanderbilt was held in check until the bottom of the eighth when they were trailing 5-3. Pedro Alvarez started the inning off by walking on four pitches. Ryan Flaherty then followed with a single up the middle. Shea Robin then followed with a sacrifice bunt to set up second and third with one out. BC made a pitching change to bring in closer Dan Houston who promptly made Dominic de la Osa make an excuse me swing to get the runner home from third and Flaherty advanced to third base while Osa was out at first. The next pitch thrown by Houston got by catcher Tony Sanchez to allow Flaherty to score from third and tie the game up. Houston was able to work around a walk and a single to get out of the inning. BC then picked up a key lead-off double by Joseph Ayers in the top of the ninth. BC decided to bunt with Johnny Ayers to move Joseph Ayers to third with one out. Vanderbilt then brought in closer Casey Weathers who was greeted by a ground ball from Ryan Hutchinson which got through the infield to drive Joseph Ayers to get a 6-5 victory. Weathers then got the final two outs of the inning. As we entered the bottom of the ninth, Vanderbilt was trailing by one run. Dan Houston got David Macias and Alex Feinberg to fly out . BC then pitched around Pedro Alvarez to bring the winning run to the plate in Ryan Flaherty. Ryan then took the fourth pitch and put it over the left field wall to win the exciting game away from Boston College.
BC is having some major problems in the closer role this season as this is Dan Houston’s second blown save of the weekend. I think a change is needed in the bullpen for the Eagles. They are continuing to hang around these more powerful teams but can’t finish the deal.
BC will return to action on Friday with an exbition game against the Boston Red Sox. Daisuke Matsuzaka will start against the Eagles in his first career appearance on American soil. Vanderbilt will be back in action on Tuesday with Austin Peay.
Vanderbilt Scout.com Recap
The Boston College Eagles continued their quick three game set in the Music City Classic. They lost to Lipscomb by a score of 4-3. The Eagles had another average start on Saturday by Adam Crabtree who gave the Eagles five innings but gave up four runs on eight hits. This was Crabtree’s first career appearance for the Eagles as he missed the 2006 season with Tommy John surgery and did not see action in 2005. The Eagles were led on offense by Freshman Tony Sanchez who went 2-2 in his second career game. The Eagles will be back in action Sunday when they visit Number 1 ranked Vanderbilt.
The Boston College Eagles opened the season on Friday with a visit to Belmont University for their first game of the season. The Eagles got an average outing from Kevin Boggan, who gave the Eagles five innings while giving up four runs (only 2 earned). This was Boggan’s first career start as he is making the transition from a closer to a starting pitcher. Boston College right fielder/punter Johnny Ayers led the offense with a 1-3 day with two walks. Jett Ruiz also had a solid day at the plate 2-3 with a homer and two RBI. The Eagles led 6-5 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning when new Head Coach Mikio Aoki decided to bring in closer Dan Houston. He is making the transition from Weekend starter to Closer. Houston struggled mightily by giving up 3 runs on two hits and three walks to give up the led and put the Eagles down by 2 runs. Freshman Mike Belfiore hit a double to led off the ninth and Johnny Ayers ended up driving him in to make it a one run game but the Eagles were not able to get closer.
BC is back in action on Saturday with a visit to Lipscomb and Belmont hosts Ball State.
The Boston College Eagles will visit Nashville TN for the Music City Classic. They will play Belmont, Lipscomb, and Vanderbilt. BC is still looking to build into a regional power in the Northeast and make the ACC Tournament. The BC Heights (student paper) wrote a very good article yesterday previewing the upcoming season which can be read here.
Boston College is currently in a battle with the residents of Allston and Brighton over building the new baseball facility. The article from the Allston-Brighton Tab is available here.
New Virginia Tech Head Coach Peter Hughes recently sat down with The Collegiate Times and talked about his coaching philosophy and the goals he is setting for the Hokie program. The article speaks about issues that were going on at Boston College and how he overcame them and how Virginia Tech is a better fit for him. The full article is available here.
VT Season Preview by HokieSports.com
Mikio Aoki recently took some time out of his schedule to talk to the College Baseball Blog. Mik is entering his first season as the head coach of the Boston College Eagles. He was promoted from the Associate Head Coach position in June of 2006 when Peter Hughes went to Virginia Tech. The Eagles are coming off a 28-25 season (9-21 in conference).
1) Boston College returns six position starters from last year’s team. Who has stepped up to fill Dave Preziosi’s role as the leader of the team and at first base? Who do you expect to step in behind the plate?
Pete Frates will be our everyday CF and he has definitely stepped into take a leadership position on the team. Nate Jeanes has returned for a 5th year and is doing a very good job as the leader of the pitching staff. We also have a number of seniors on the team (I think 9) this year as opposed to just 3 last year and our seniors have been great in terms of leading the younger guys, in particular the freshmen. As far as 1B goes, coming out of the fall Mike Belfiore was the frontrunner for the job and I think he still is. Jett Ruiz and Tony Sanchez will be our catchers this year. Neither player has clearly separated himself as the number 1 guy, but that’s fine because both of them are very good players. I would expect the one who is not catching on a particular day to be our DH or even see some time at 1B.
2) Boston College is returning their entire pitching staff from last season including CCBL Co-Pitcher of the Year Terry Doyle. Has their been any freshman or newcomers to the program that will be competing for a starting or closer role?
The closer’s role is definitely the most unsettled role on our pitching staff and probably the entire team. I think that we have a number of quality arms that can step in and assume that role, but because Kevin Boggan was so good in that role for us for the past few years nobody has been put in that position of closing out games in a while. Boggan has moved into the starting rotation so we’ll have to determine who the closer will be as we progress. Ryne Reynoso and Matt Meyer would have been the co-closers this year but we lost them to the draft so we’ll have some auditions for it. Ted Ratliff, Dan Houston, Nick Asselin, Kurt Hayer, and Steve Cadoret have all pitched well in our scrimmages in the Bubble so far and they’ll all get a chance to see if they can win that job. As far as freshmen arms are concerned, I would say that Geoff Oxley, Mike Belfiore and Jimmy Cozza are probably closest to helping us although Trent Kavnagh pitched really well in Saturday’s scrimmage.
3) The uniform start date goes into effect next season, How will that affect your team in the future? Also, What are your thoughts on the rule change?
I’m not really sure how that is going to effect us, but my feeling is not very much. We’ve got a great indoor situation and we’re lucky to have an early spring break. The idea behind is a sound one. I really like the fact that we will have played a similar number of games to our conference opponents when ACC play opens up. We’ll play one three-game set in a tournament or a single opponent on that first weekend and then we’ll play about five games on our spring break trip before our ACC opener. The eight games that we will have played will be a very similar amount to whoever we open with, which is great. However, we’re really fortunate that our spring break begins as early as it does. We’re also incredibly fortunate to have the indoor situation that we do. The Bubble allows us to scrimmage live and really be prepared to go down south without having been outside and compete at a high level. For the majority of northern schools, they don’t have an indoor situation like we do and they have to play weekend to weekend until they can play outside at home. The lack of midweek games will still hurt them as they go south because by the middle of March, the southern schools will have been playing one or two midweek games since the starting date and will be up to 15 or more games while most northern schools will have only played about nine or so games. In addition, you have to count all of the scrimmages that southern schools will have been playing since February 1.
I really hope that the NCAA does not decide to lessen the number of games that we can play, which is a thought attached to the new legislation. Northern schools are used to playing two midweek games a week. We, at BC, have been accustomed to it forever. We graduate 100% of our players, and I’d say 95% of our kids graduate in four years. If a school like us, with the academic reputation and standards that we have, can get to 56 games without hurting graduation rates, everybody else can do it too. Look at Notre Dame, they’re doing it as well.
Yes, it creates some situations where you play games with an unfavorable pitching match-up for you and perhaps you lose a game that you “aren’t supposed to” but on the flip side, you’re developing some depth on your pitching staff. In the larger picture, you’re probably going to have to spread scholarship dollars around a bit more than southern schools are used to do doing to create depth on a pitching staff and maybe that results in more parody in college baseball. If that’s the case, I think it is really good for college baseball – parody has been a really good thing for hoops and it would be for us as well.
4) Boston College is in a Southern conference with many traditional powers in baseball like Florida State and Miami among others. What is a realistic goal of the program? Do you expect to make the CWS?
Obviously we’re going to always be in an uphill battle in recruiting because we are a northern school. BUT, I think we have a great niche. Academically, we are a great school, and now we play in the best baseball conference in America. Our closest ACC rival is 500+ miles away. So for kids in the Northeast and in particular New England, we represent a tremendous opportunity. Those kids, who want to get a great education and play college baseball at the very highest level, can do it while playing in their own backyard. I think we have a really good recruiting class this year. I feel very strongly that we got the majority of the best kids in New England that we could recruit from an academic standpoint. The couple of big names that committed elsewhere from up here that we could have gotten into school are kids that are going to go really high in the draft, and while we would have loved to have signed them, the likelihood of those couple of kids playing in college is very questionable. Our goals are the same every year and they are in chronological order for our season – 1. Win the Beanpot 2. Play in the ACC Tournament 3. Get to the NCAA tournament 4. Get to Omaha We play in a conference that will allow us the opportunity to accomplish all of those things. Our are challenges as a highly academic school in an northern climate more difficult than some other places. They might be – every place has its own challenges and obstacles. However, I know that when it comes to achieving goals – if you can’t say it and envision it, it isn’t going to happen. I believe it can happen here and once we get our new facility in the next year or so, we’ll be that much closer to it because one more hurdle will have been cleared.
5) When do you expect the new baseball facility to become a reality?
Within the next year or two. There’s a lot of red tape with the City of Boston and we at BC want to be good neighbors. The property values of the surrounding neighborhood are out of sight and we don’t want to just jam things down there throats. We want to work them and be aware of their concerns before we start putting shovels in the ground. I’ve seen the drawings that they have and the stadium will be first-class in every way and precisely what we need and the right fit for BC.
6) Mik, You were named the head coach of Boston College on June 8th, 2006. What is the biggest challenge you see yourself dealing with?
I think it has to be the recruiting aspect. BC is doing everything they can to ensure that we’re going to be competitive in the ACC so we’ve got to hold up our end of the bargain by recruiting great players and students. We’ve had a great track record of developing players here. I think we’ve had 18 players drafted in the past three years and only two of them had been drafted out of high school including Chris Lambert who came to BC undrafted and left as a 1st-rounder three years later. If we can recruit the right fit for BC, I think we’re going to be pretty good
7)What player or coach have you enjoyed working with the most during your career?
The player question is tough because I’ve been blessed to have been around truly great kids here at BC and during my other coaching stops. The coaching one is tough too but it has to Pete Hughes. He and I have been friends for 20+ years now and he’s one of my closest friends and he is like a brother to me.
The College Baseball Blog would like to thank Coach Aoki again for taking the time to do this brief interview. If you have any questions or comments send them to me here.