Trojans gear up for regional clash with Boston College

Published 10:46 am Thursday, June 1, 2023

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For the first time in school history, the Troy Trojans (39-20) will face off against the Boston College Eagles (35-18) on Friday in the first game of the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional at Swell-Thomas Stadium.

This is Troy’s first appearance in an NCAA Regional since 2018 and Boston College’s first appearance in regionals since 2016. It’s also the first time the two teams have ever met on the baseball diamond.

In Troy’s Division I history – since 1993 – the Trojans are 6-14 with seven NCAA regional appearances. This is Troy’s third time heading to Tuscaloosa for regional action after having gone 0-2 there in 1997 and 2-2 in 2006. Troy’s last regional appearance came in 2018 in the Athens (Ga.) Regional, going 1-2 with a win over Duke and losses to Duke and Georgia. The Trojans have never made it past the regional round of the NCAA Tournament in Division I, but won two national championships in Division II and made seven appearances in the Division II College World Series.

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The Eagles finished the 2023 regular season with a 35-18 record and lost to No. 6-ranked Clemson in the second round of the ACC Tournament.

“I know they’re incredibly tough, they’re northeast tough,” Troy coach Skylar Meade said of Boston College. “I’ve been on the road with their coaching staff and they have high-level players. They have some real pro prospects. “They have some really potent hitters in that lineup and a pitching staff that has stayed together and been healthy most of the year. They’re a complete team. A lot of people thought they would be a host (team) going into maybe late last night, so they’ll be a challenge and we’ll be ready for it.”

The Eagles are led at the plate by junior All-ACC first baseman Joe Vetrano, who boasts a team-best .305 batting average with 18 home runs, 11 doubles, 55 RBIs and 48 runs. Junior outfielder Cameron Leary and sophomore infielder Nick Wang both hit 10 homers each, as well. Veterano also led Boston College defensively with 38 double plays and a perfect fielding percentage to go along with his 409 put outs and 21 assists.

Boston College is led on the mound by 6-foot-4-inch All-ACC pitcher Chris Flynn, who finished the regular season with a 4.21 ERA along with a team-high 82 strikeouts and a 7-3 record. Boston College’s closer is senior Andrew Roman, who holds a 1.77 ERA with 35 strikeouts and nine saves in 40 and 2/3 innings pitched.

Troy is led at the plate by Sun Belt Player of the Year Shane Lewis, who earned a school-record – and conference best – 27 home runs this season with 76 RBIs and 61 runs. All-Sun Belt first baseman William Sullivan also earned a .310 batting average with 16 homers, 50 RBIs and 60 runs. A total of four Trojans have hit more than 10 homers and the team has 102 home runs on the season, which is the fourth most in school history. Sullivan also boasts 37 double plays with a .977 fielding percentage, 363 put outs and 20 assists this season.

On the mound, All-Sun Belt pitcher Grayson Stewart has a 9-2 record with a 3.55 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 83 and 2/3 innings pitched. Noah Manning earned 11 saves on the season with 41 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched.

Troy and Boston College will clash at 2 p.m. on Friday in the first game of the Tuscaloosa Regionals and the game will stream live on ESPN+. Before the game, Troy is setting up a shop at Baumhower’s Victory Grille at 500 Harper Lee Drive in Tuscaloosa, which will serve as the Trojans’ “headquarters” throughout regionals. Troy fans are encouraged to head to Baumhower’s before each Troy game where Trojans fans will be treated with complimentary appetizers proved by the Troy University Alumni Association. Troy’s Fan Headquarters at Baumhower’s will be open from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Friday. The headquarters will wrap up one hour before each game of regionals.

Additionally, Alabama plays Nicholls in the other regional game on Friday at 6 p.m. The two winning teams will advance to the next round at 8 p.m. on June 3. The losing teams will met in an elimination game on June 3 at 2 p.m.