Friday, April 23, 2010

A big weekend for BC sports

From now until Sunday, there are three key things for BC fans to be taking a look at:

1) We will have at least one player drafted by the NFL, if not more.
2) BC football will play its annual Jay McGillis Memorial Spring Game.
3) BC baseball plays a critical series at NC State.

First, I will wish good luck to Matt Tennant and all the rest of our former players who are looking to get drafted into the NFL.  Tennant will either sneak in late tonight or go early tomorrow.  McLaughlin will wait it out late on Saturday and as for the others, well, I hope things work out for them after the draft and they still get their shot.

Next, this baseball series at NC State.  The PDF file on the series from BC Athletics is here.  The pitching matchups are expected to be as follows:

Friday: LHP Pat Dean (5-0, 3.06) vs. RHP Jake Buchanan (4-3, 4.01)
Saturday: RHP Mike Dennhardt (3-5, 6.75) vs. RHP Cory Mazzoni (5-2, 4.80)
Sunday: RHP John Leonard (2-0, 1.46) vs. LHP Alex Sogard (0-0, 4.88) 

Based upon what I see here, I don't believe 2 out of 3 BC wins is out of the question.  In fact, I think it's quite possible.  Both of these teams are 9-9 in the ACC and need to win this series to solidify their position in the ACC Tournament field.  Joining these teams at 9-9 is Virginia Tech, rounding out the current field of 8.  A series win here will improve Boston College's overall resume as they look to make one last push at a national postseason berth, move them into 3rd place overall, and improve their standing for the ACC postseason.  Clemson is only a game ahead of the Eagles for second place, though the Tigers have the tiebreaker.  A series loss wouldn't make or break the season -- though a sweep either way might -- but this is still very important for their hopes this year.

Now for the Spring Game.  They're going to have some scoring system in place for this game, and if it's anything like the one they had two years ago when I last attended in person, don't pay any attention to it.  Who wins and loses is absolutely irrelevant.  What we're going to be looking for, quite simply, is who's playing and how well they're playing.

Dave Shinskie is going to get the ball because he's going to be the starter in September as far as we all know.  Uncle Dave is coming into his second year at the helm of the offense and it's time for him to start showing us something.  His overall stats last year were mediocre with a 52% completion percentage, 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.  He had some games where he did a nice job and put up some numbers, but he also had several games where awful does not even begin to describe his performance.  The North Carolina disaster is still fresh in my mind, as are the meltdowns at Virginia Tech and, to a slightly lesser extent, Notre Dame.  His Emerald Bowl wasn't all that flashy, either, as he got upstaged by fellow freshman Matt Barkley.  

There are several other young quarterbacks on this team and I'm sure they'd jump at the chance to be the starter someday.  This is going to be a big year for Shinskie: he has to show us that he's made strides or his job will unquestionably be in jeopardy.  This adjudication process began with the spring scrimmages and will continue tomorrow.

Of course, quarterback isn't the only position on the team.  We'll get to see position battles develop in all areas, and in particular, I'm curious to see how things will shake out with the wide receiver corps minus Rich Gunnell and Justin Jarvis and how they'll plug up the big hole left at center by Matt Tennant.  We'll start to see some of these questions answered, but as with all of this, we're going to have to wait until September for some concrete facts.

Further, we'll also get to see some of the other guys we've been waiting to see.  A name that stands out is Kevin Pierre-Louis, a freshman who made the two-deep spring depth chart.  My greatest regret is that we won't be able to see Mark Herzlich return to the field tomorrow, but patience is, of course, a virtue.

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