In the second game of a Saturday doubleheader at Chicago State’s Cougar Stadium, the Boston College baseball team looked to salvage a split on the day as well as a series victory against ACC foe Notre Dame. It was clear early on, however, that head coach Mike Gambino’s team simply didn’t have it on Saturday evening.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish, spurred on by the dominant pitching of Michael Herne and consistent offensive outbursts, crushed the Eagles by a score of 7-0. Coupling Herne’s performance with the team’s 4-2 win over BC earlier in the day, Notre Dame’s pitching was dominant enough to earn the Fighting Irish their first ACC series victory on the season.
Jeff Burke took the hill for BC, looking to snap a stretch of starts plagued by inconsistent control. Burke succeeded in that regard to some extent, as he only allowed two walks on the evening, however, he did hit a batter and still wasn’t quite able to put it all together.
In the first inning, Notre Dame jumped out to a 2-0 lead after a hit batter, a pair of singles, and an error by BC. In the fourth, the Fighting Irish took a stranglehold on the game, plating two more runs via a James Nevant RBI triple and a sacrifice fly by Lane Richards.
Burke was done after only four innings, allowing four earned runs on three hits, two walks and a strikeout, dropping his record to 0-5 on the season. The Irish put their final three runs on the board in the sixth and eighth innings. BC’s bullpen was so-so, allowing three runs over five innings, including one allowed by Mike King and two allowed late in the game by John Nicklas.
Offensively for BC, there wasn’t much to note. Sophomore southpaw Michael Hearne went the distance for Notre Dame, shutting out the Eagles while allowing seven hits. Hearne had excellent control of the strike zone, striking out five while not allowing a single walk.
“Hearne did a really good job keeping us off-balance,” Gambino said. “We couldn’t string hits together. We had some guys on in different innings, but we couldn’t put two or three hits together to get anything going. He just kept us off balance.”
Seven of the Eagles’ starting nine tallied a hit, but not one starter could punch out a second base knock. All seven Eagle players who reached base were left stranded, which was certainly a frustrating way to lose for Gambino’s team.
The series was played for a charitable cause. The three-game weekend set between BC and Notre Dame was dedicated to “Strike Out ALS.”
All ticket sales were donated to the Pete Frates #3 Fund, which was established to help former Eagles captain and director of baseball operations, Pete Frates, in his battle against ALS, which is more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Gambino and Notre Dame coach Mik Aoki agreed to set up the game for the cause some time ago. Aoki served as BC’s head coach from 2007 to 2010, including when Pete Frates was a senior. Aoki and Notre Dame also agreed to auction off their special red jerseys for the Pete Frates #3 Fund.
“It was awesome to see what coach Aoki did out here, putting together a weekend out here for Strike Out ALS weekend,” Gambino said. “That was awesome to see, it’s not a surprise if you know coach Aoki and you know what kind of person he is.”