At 12 noon eastern time, Boston College baseball will begin a 56-game journey which will hopefully take them to Greensboro, North Carolina at the end of May. The 2012 season starts against ACC foe Virginia at the Caravelle Resort Tournament in Conway, South Carolina; it will be the first of three games this weekend.
The Eagles are coming off of a difficult 2011 campaign where they went 17-33 (7-22), but are hoping to build some new success in Mike Gambino’s second season as head coach. He will have to contend with the loss of a number of players, particularly pitchers: from last season, eight pitchers return, but six have moved on. Amongst the newcomers is left-hander Andrew Chin, a Toronto Blue Jays draft pick from Newton who underwent Tommy John surgery in May 2011. TJS has a long recovery period of at least a year, so unless we’re missing something, there’s next to no chance we will see him in a game this season.
Chin’s injury is truly a shame, because the Eagles could have used him, but there are others coming in, including Red Sox draft pick John Gorman, right-handed pitcher from Norwood. According to scouting, he was the eighth-best recruit in Massachusetts for the class (Chin was #5), and Gorman’s fastest fastball has been clocked at 89mph. He can also hit and play the infield, which reminds me a little of BC standout Mike Belfiore a few years back (who played the infield and was the closer).
One of the captains of the Boston College Eagles for 2012 will be senior relief pitcher Kyle Prohovich, who will wear Sonny Nictakis’ #8; the others are Anthony Melchionda and Rob Moir. The offensive leaders of the team figure to be seniors Melchionda and Andrew Lawrence, who hit .304 and .271 last year, respectively. Junior outfielder Matt McGovern, who hit a team-leading .371 in 2011, will also return.
Eagles fans will not get many opportunities to see their team play on television, but they will get at least one in early March. As is the custom, the Boston Red Sox will host the BC Eagles in an exhibition game in Fort Myers, Florida, which will be carried on NESN. That contest will be played on Saturday, March 3 at 7pm.
We know that there are some decent players on this team, but how will they do? Well, the expectations aren’t exactly high. In the preseason poll, Boston College baseball was picked to finish dead-last in the ACC and, clearly, last in the ACC Atlantic (by a comfortable margin).
I guess we’ll just have to watch and find out if they can do better. We can start with today’s game against the Wahoos (and by the way, Virginia is ranked #17).