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Matt Han / Gavel Media

Birdball Starts 2019 Strong With a Sweep of Jackson State

Birdball is officially back, and it’s starting off strong. This past weekend, Boston College’s baseball team traveled to Jackson, Mississippi to take on Jackson State. The Eagles completed a 3-0 sweep.

They played the first game on Friday, Feb. 15, which BC won 7-3. LHP Dan Metzdorf started on the mound for the Eagles and had a strong outing. He pitched through seven innings and only allowed one run, amassing four strikeouts. He is the first lefty to start the season opener in the Mike Gambino era for the Eagles.

Freshman designated-hitter Sal Frelick had himself a day as he went 3-4 with a homerun. In the eighth inning, Chris Galland smashed a double to right field that drove in third baseman Jake Alu and right fielder Joe Suozzi.

Saturday featured a double header, with BC winning both games 11-2 and 9-5, respectively. Junior right-hander Matt Gil started at pitcher for the front end matchup. He shut out Jackson State through seven innings and had a no-hitter up until the 6th.

In the fourth inning, BC began to dominate, scoring six runs on four hits. Freshman second baseman Cody Morissette got the first hit of the inning with a two-run double. Alu had his sixth three-run game and his 27th multi-hit game overall of his career.

In Saturday’s second game, BC got on the board early with runs in the first and third. Once again, their strongest inning came in the fourth as they had five runs to go up 7-0. BC’s LHP Zach Stromberg struggled starting the game and was pulled after just 3.2 innings. Senior RHP Thomas Lane was credited with the win with just an inning of play.

The Eagles converted 100% of their steal attempts through the first three games. They went 16-16, with Frelick having a team high five.

BC and Jackson State were scheduled for a fourth game on Sunday, but it was cancelled due to rain.

The Eagles received votes in the NCBWA top-30 poll following the sweep. This was their first series sweep since 2017 against Notre Dame, and their first sweep on the road since 2010.

This upcoming weekend, BC will play the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (1-3) in a three games series in Daytona Beach, FL. This will be the Eagles’ second time in three seasons playing the Wildcats.

The Eagles pitching staff will feature LHP Dan Metzdorf on Friday, RHP Matt Gill on Saturday, and RHP Mason Pelio on Sunday. Metzdorf and Gill will look to continue the success they had against Jackson State. Pelio, a freshman will get his first start of the season after his planned appearance against Jackson State was rained out. BC’s pitching squad combined for a 2.67 ERA in the opening weekend.

In contrast, the Wildcats’ pitchers amassed a combined ERA of 6.46. Through four games so far, Bethune-Cookman has allowed an average of 12.5 runs per game. Their bullpen and defensive struggles should be a good sign for some of BC’s hitters.

BC will look toward Frelick and Alu to provide some offense. While BC only had one homerun in their opening series, they averaged nine runs a contest. In contrast, the Wildcats have only averaged 3.25 runs a game, and have yet to score more than five runs.

The series starts Friday, Feb. 22 in Daytona Beach, FL.

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