Boston College started its weekend series against fellow ACC bottom-dweller Notre Dame with a 4-1 win at Cougar Stadium on Chicago’s south side. Only its third ACC win on the season, BC pushed three runs across in the top of the 11th before redshirt freshman reliever Luke Fernandes closed out the game with a clean bottom of the frame.
“I came in to finish out the 10th, and then Gabe [Hernandez] got a big hit and Blake [Butera] got some insurance runs, and I was able to finish out the 11th,” Fernandes said. “Big win, obviously we respect Notre Dame a lot, but any ACC win is huge.”
BC shortstop Joe Cronin’s double to left center in the top of third drove in Butera to open the scoring, but despite seven hits allowed, Notre Dame starter Sean Fitzgerald didn’t allow another run in his eight innings pitched. In those eight innings, the Eagles left eight runners on base and were possibly on their way to yet another agonizing defeat.
The Eagles’ own pitching staff kept its offense in it, though, led by starter John Gorman’s six innings of one-run ball. The junior validated his status as the Friday starter with just two walks and four hits allowed, surrendering his only run in his last inning. Sophomore lefty Jesse Adams relieved Gorman in the seventh and worked three and one- third stellar innings of his own. Adams gave up just one hit and no walks while striking out four Irish batters and gave his offense enough chances so they could make it to the 11th.
“Tie game, and I knew if I attacked the zone I would be able to get some plays behind me by the defense, and I knew the bats were going to come around eventually to give us that lead that we needed to have, and Luke was going to hold us for the win,” Adams said.
After Fernandes came in for Adams and stranded Notre Dame’s Ryan Youngdahl in the 10th, BC first baseman John Hennessey started the game-winning rally with a four-pitch walk, followed by centerfielder Tom’s Bourdon’s 0-2 single to left. Left fielder Michael Strem pushed both runners up with a sac bunt, and catcher Nick Sciortino loaded the bases with another walk. Stepping to the plate with the bases juiced and down 1-2 to new Notre Dame reliever Matt Ternowchek, Hernandez singled in Hennessey for the game’s winning run before Butera’s double to left center scored Sciortino and Bourdon for ultimately unnecessary insurance runs.
“Went up to the plate looking for a fastball, something good to hit, got it, put my barrel on it, hopefully put a run across, and we did,” Hernandez said. “And then Blake came across and brought a couple of runs in, some insurance runs, that was huge. And then Luke coming in at the end, shut the game out, great win for us.”