The struggles for the Eagles on the diamond continued this weekend as they were swept in a three game series against the No. 6 ranked Clemson Tigers. BC Birdball dropped to 7-14 on the year, which pushes the team within eight games of its loss total from last year’s record- setting season.
BC encountered serious trouble in the batter's box—tallying just two runs in three games—and was shutout in the last two. Timely hitting appeared to be a huge issue over the course of the weekend, as the Eagles outhit Clemson in the latter two losses, yet failed to bring these runners home.
Throughout the whole series, it appeared as if the Birds could not put together a complete game. Pitching was not the issue in the final two games—the Eagles held the Tigers to one and two runs respectively—but at the same time, pitching was the achilles heel in the first game as the Eagles surrendered seven runs. Moving forward, BC must find ways to manufacture runs, as a .222 team batting average and lack of a regular rotation player who hits above .300 spells trouble, and it will continue to do so as ACC play continues.
In junior starting pitcher Brian Rapp’s postgame press conference, he relayed some of what the coaching staff has been preaching to him throughout the season. One of their main sticking points was a steady diet of fastballs, and that once he “gets ahead [in the count], to use breaking balls.” Rapp also added that the biggest thing he needed to continue working on was “pounding the zone” in order to get ahead in more counts, thereby propelling him to throw more off speed pitches.
While cautious to draw too many conclusions from a game against a perennial power in the ACC, it nonetheless should be cause for concern that this Eagles team does not look anything like the team from last year. The Birds certainly seem to miss starting pitcher Justin Dunn and catcher Joe Cronin—both key cogs from last year’s team—who since have been drafted by MLB teams.
Next up for the Eagles is an away match up in Storrs, Conn. against the UConn Huskies before returning to the Heights for their first game in Chestnut Hill all year, where they will take on in-state rival UMass Minutemen this Wednesday. Luckily for BC Birdball, the season is just ripening up and two, full in-season months lie ahead to play ball.