Steve Englert is an assistant coach at Boston College. Each week, he will provide a journal of the previous week's happenings from Chestnut Hill.






May 20, 2003

Battling for a Tournament Spot


School's out. Finals have been completed. The heavy burden of studying, exam-taking and writing papers for our guys was finished, which left nothing but baseball for the rest of the school year. What a great feeling.


On Tuesday, Centenary journeyed all the way up from Louisiana for a two-game set with us Yankees. I'd be willing to bet the 'Gents' are the southern-most team ever to venture this far north for a baseball game. We came out flat and sleep-walked through most of the game, playing as if our heads were still buried in the books. Signs of a tough academic week showed immensely. Fortunately for us, someone was living right, and we luckily escaped with a 4-3 win on a walkoff error in the ninth.


On Wednesday, after being clued as to who "Old Blue Eyes" is, our assistant manager did some digging, and we were finally able to take pregame to some Frank Sinatra. I don't know what Centenary thought of "The Way You Look Tonight," "Summer Wind" and "My Way," but our guys surprisingly loved it. Sophomore Drew "Moose" Locke plans on buying every CD ever produced by Frankie as he led us offensively with a 4-for-4 afternoon, including a solo jack, in a 6-3 victory. The game was a great momentum builder for the final weekend, with West Virginia coming to town. 


The big story around campus has been the talk of BC going to the ACC. We tried to steer away from it all, knowing we have no control over the matter. The main focus was the all-important three-game set and the need for a sweep.


Overcast skies and a chill in the air greeted us for Friday's doubleheader. With Big Pun's "I'm Not a Player" blasting from the PA system, the team took its best infield of the year. A lot of up-tempo energy and enthusiasm existed, and everyone knew what needed to be done to stay alive for the postseason.


We were fired up, jumping out to a 4-0 lead, and ended up holding on to win 4-3.


Two to go.


The momentum carried right over to the second game, and we continued to play hard and aggressive, taking home the 7-3 victory.


One to go.


With one final win and a V-Tech loss vs. Notre Dame, we would be in the Big East tourney. I never thought I would root for the Irish, but this was an exception. Saturday was Senior Day, the last game at home for four of our players and our most valuable asset, student manager Johnny Reed. Senior first baseman Vin Scavone, upon being fed "mush balls" during his last round of BP at Shea Field, left the yard on his very last swing. Big Pun led us out once again for infield/outfield, and the game started out as the two previous.


We had a 5-2 lead, but the Mountaineers chipped away and stayed in it. Then, in the ninth, after a bloop double, a walk here and an error there, West Virginia finally took a 6-5 lead. In the bottom half of the inning, we managed to hit some hard balls and even had the tying run on second base before the final out was recorded and our season came to a disappointing halt.


There was a sunken feeling with everyone around here with the hopes and expectations of the post-season being dashed. The hard part of it all is the "What might have been" if we were able to get into the tourney the way our starting pitching and defense has been performing of late.


On the positive side, the team really played with a lot of heart and character, especially in the last few weeks. We had great leadership, and the guys had to overcome a lot of adversity this season with the weather, playing the first 30 ball games on the road and only having access to our own field for 21 days. We had a few laughs along the way, and it was an enjoyable season. We managed to tie the school record for most regular-season wins (33), and there's no reason why can't improve in that next year as the bulk of this team is coming back.


My apologies for all the boredom produced in this week's entry, but it stinks having to rehash disheartening events. Best of luck to all of those in the post-season. I will soon be packing up the fungo and the Lancaster as I head for the Cape, where the enjoyment of summer ball will wash away the memories of a missed post-season and regional bid.


Steve Englert


Previous Entries

Rotten Singing, Rotten Series (5/13/03)

Books, Baseballs and Brooms (5/6/03)

There's Nothing Like Baseball at Fenway (4/29/03)

Hahvahd and Huskies Highlight Week (4/22/03)

Snow, Hokies Make for Tough Week (4/15/03)

Curt Gowdy Brings Snow Back to Northeast (4/8/03)

Eagles' Wins Rise with Temperature (4/1/03)

Return to Florida Not as Rewarding (3/25/03)

Weather or Not... Eagles Battling Elements (3/18/03)

Wins Bring Fun in the Sun (3/11/03)

Hanging with Nomar and the Gang (3/4/03)

Working the Kinks Out (2/25/03)


(photo courtesy of BC Media Relations Office)