After suffering a double-header sweep, bookended by a backbreaking ninth inning collapse on Friday, the Eagles looked to stave off a series sweep against the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles on Saturday. The ‘Noles showed once again how good they are, though, pummeling Boston College 10-1.
“You see why Florida State’s the No. 1 team in the country and why Coach Martin has so many wins,” said BC head coach Mike Gambino. “That’s an unbelievable baseball club.”
Sophomore Jeff Burke took the mound and was solid for the Eagles, logging six innings of work while allowing only four hits. Five runs were scored while Burke was on the mound, though just two were earned. Burke got off to a shaky start in the first inning, walking three batters and allowing three Seminoles to score. After giving up five walks in only four innings against Georgia Tech last weekend, it was deja vu early on for Burke, though he bounced back in a big way by retiring the last 11 batters he faced on the day.
Following Burke’s up and down day, Gambino called upon his bullpen in hopes of keeping the Eagles in the game, but it was to no avail. The Seminoles came out hot in the seventh inning and made it an eight-run blowout, scoring four runs on three hits, which was highlighted by a triple from Jose Brizuela. The Seminoles added another run in the eighth, building their lead to 10-1.
Five of FSU’s starting nine registered an RBI on the afternoon, including three RBIs apiece from Jose Brizuela and John Sansone. The Seminoles hit pretty well, tallying nine, but the main catalyst for their offense was their patience at the plate. BC allowed nine walks on the day, continuing a trend of wildness on the mound, which had Gambino frustrated.
“I wasn’t real happy with us today,” Gambino said. “I wasn’t really happy with all the walks we had, and I wasn’t really happy with how we played defense. You can’t do that against, arguably, the best team in the country.”
Florida State had no such problems. FSU’s pitching was simply too much to handle for the Eagles. BC batters were overpowered all day by one of the nation’s best pitching staffs, tallying three hits on the afternoon. Bryant Holtmann improved to 4-0 on the year, pitching six innings of one-hit, shutout baseball. Despite the lopsided score, Brandon Johnson was able to earn a save on the afternoon, as he pitched throughout the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. Coupling dominant pitching with a stellar defense that committed no errors on the day-the Seminoles were superior in all facets of the game.
Highlights for the Eagles were few and far between, as the only run the team scored came in the bottom of the first inning, already trailing 3-0. The run came via a Chris Shaw sacrifice fly, bringing in Gabriel Hernandez. After the first inning, the Eagles did not notch another hit until the fifth, which would end up being the team’s final hit of the game.
Saturday’s game was a microcosm of two teams in the same conference sitting in polar opposite spots. The Seminoles played a smart, tidy game with plenty of timely hitting, while the Eagles played sloppily and didn’t give themselves a chance to win.