As the 2021 NCAA baseball season kicks off this weekend, Boston College baseball seems poised to make a run at the College World Series for the first time since 2016. The Eagles have worked their way to preliminary relevance this season, and if their combined 24-5 blowouts over Charleston Southern in their season-opening doubleheader is any indication, their momentum will continue to build.
The core of this year’s BC team consists of three juniors: Sal Frelick, Mason Pelio, and Cody Morissette. All three were voted preseason All-Americans this year, and though their sophomore seasons were cut short due to COVID-19, the trio caught the attention of the baseball world during their freshman year when both Frelick and Morissette made the All-ACC Freshman Team. With all three projected to be drafted in the first two rounds of this season’s MLB draft, this is likely BC’s last chance to make it to Omaha backed by its three staple juniors.
As a freshman, Frelick led the Eagles in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and stolen bases. With plenty of speed and the ability to get on base, Frelick is the ideal top-of-the-order hitter. He batted leadoff in the abbreviated 2020 season and has hit second in both of this season’s games. Frelick’s slash line speaks for itself—he led the team in all three categories his freshman year (.367 / .447 / .513)—but arguably more impressive is h1is tact on the basepaths. Last season, Frelick stole seven bases without being thrown out. During his freshman year, he stole 18 bases on 21 attempts. His speed comes in handy on both sides of the ball, as Frelick plays primarily in center field, covering the most ground of the three outfield positions. Frelick’s talents are not limited to baseball, as he was captain of his high school’s football and hockey teams as well as baseball. During his senior season, Frelick’s football talents received recognition when he was named the Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year. Frelick is the highest ranked of BC’s three draft prospects at No. 25.
Standing at 6-foot-3, right-handed Pelio is the ace of the BC’s pitching staff. Pelio received the coveted role of opening day starter this season, allowing just three hits and no runs in the five innings he pitched against Charleston Southern on Saturday. Originally from San Diego, Calif., Pelio stands at No. 31—No. 13 among RHPs—in the draft prospect rankings. During his freshman season, Pelio started 13 games and posted a 3.62 earned run average (ERA). He struck out 62 batters and walked 37, finishing the season with a 4-3 win-loss record. The pitcher faced relative struggles in just 22 innings pitched last season for a 4.09 ERA and 1.45 walks and hits per inning. He won one game and lost two, but Pelio seems to be back at the top of his game to open 2021. In high school, Pelio posted a career 1.96 ERA with 16 wins and 144 strikeouts in 121 innings pitched. At the conclusion of his high school career, Pelio was ranked the No. 364 MLB Draft prospect by Baseball America.
Morissette rounds out the list of BC’s top prospects, earning himself a spot at No. 43 on the draft projections. Unlike his other standout classmates, Morissette shined during the beginning of the 2020 season. In 58 at-bats, the infielder led the team with an astonishing .448 batting average as well as a 1.177 on base plus slugging percentage (OPS). While his freshman season was slightly less phenomenal, Morissette still stood out early in his career. He led the team in RBIs and doubles with 41 and 20 respectively, and he hit for a .320 average and a .847 OPS. At the conclusion of his first season, he made the All-ACC Freshman Team with Second-Team All-ACC honors and was listed as a Baseball America Freshman All-American. Morissette plays across the infield at second base, shortstop, and third base for the Eagles. A talented overall offensive player with the ability to do some damage between bases, Morrissette has started this season batting in the three-hole—typically reserved for the best overall hitter. At Exeter High School in Exeter, N.H.—the same school that produced BC football tight end Hunter Long—Morissette led his team to back-to-back state championships and was honored as the Division I Player of the Year in 2017. He hit for a .439 average and a .560 OBP in high school, and he also shined on the mound with a 1.21 ERA and a 19-1 record.
Featured Image by Ashton Carroll / For The Heights