Eagles Give Up Five-Run Lead To FSU

Three outs away. Boston College entered the top of the ninth with a comfortable 7-2 lead, needing three outs-just three measly outs-to send the No. 1 team in the country packing. Everything was going right for BC. The bats were producing, plating seven runs over the course of the afternoon. Starter Andrew Chin was dealing, eventually leaving in the eighth inning after having surrendered two runs on just three hits. Then, head coach Mike Gambino decided to make the move to the bullpen, which went on to surrender a nine-run ninth. After the Eagles failed to mount a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, they fell, 11-7, to Florida State.

BC got the scoring started early. In the second inning, John Hennessy laid a bunt down the line, moving Joe Cronin to third base. Gambino then decided to go with the suicide squeeze as Logan Hoggarth laid another dribbling bunt down the first base line. The Seminoles opted to take the out, and Cronin crossed the plate to take the 1-0 lead.
FSU struck back in the top of the third, getting a pair of runners on first and second with one out as BC starter Andrew Chin walked Hank Truluck and then plunked Josh Delph. Seminoles shortstop Justin Gonzalez found the gap between left and center on the next at-bat, turned on the jets, and headed to second for a bases-clearing double to give the ‘Noles a one-run lead. Chin would manage to strand Gonzalez on third base after the BC infield closed out the inning.

After his third-inning hiccup, Chin was electric, throwing the ball hard and hitting his spots. Not only was he inducing weak contact for easy outs, but Chin was also responsible for sending plenty of ‘Noles batters back to the dugout before even leaving the batters’ box, recording eight K’s on the day, while only walking two.

Gambino, sticking with what was working, played a little more small ball in the bottom of the third, as BC had been struggling recently while swinging away. Blake Butera recorded a bunt single, moving Gabriel Hernandez, who reached himself on a single to right center, over to second. ‘Noles starter Mike Compton couldn’t handle a shot right back at him from Eagles center fielder Tom Bourdon on the next at-bat, loading up the bases with no outs. Compton then did an admirable job pitching out of the bases-loaded jam, striking out two and getting Hennessy to foul out to third basemen Jose Brizuela to end the inning, but not before Cronin smacked a deep sac fly to right, allowing Hernandez to score and tie up the ballgame.

After a scoreless fourth and fifth, the Eagles got the bats going once again in the sixth inning, further extending their lead. Cronin, continuing his big day, sent a one-out shot to right field, beating the throw and sliding safely into second base. Two batters later, Hoggarth knocked him in with an infield single to third, one of his four RBIs on the day. A Tyler Hinchliffe single up the middle sent Hoggarth to second, and a Nick Sciortino single to right allowed Hoffarth to turn the corner around third and touch home, giving BC a comfortable 4-2 cushion.

Swinging the bats well, the Eagles got going again in the seventh, with a trio of insurance runs, although they would soon find out that it wouldn’t be enough. Cronin smacked a single through the right side to send Bourdon to third and Butera home to score. After Cronin moved to second on a wild pitch, Hoggarth knocked in two runs on a single to right, plating both Cronin and Bourdon and putting the Eagles up 7-2.

Three little outs. That’s all that was asked of the Eagles’ bullpen in the top of the ninth, but the carousel of Jesse Adams, John Nicklas, and Steve Green could not get the job done. Adams immediately found himself in a no-out, bases-loaded jam, spelling the first signs of trouble. After walking in a run, the snowball effect set in, as the Eagles could not buy an out. The Seminoles eventually scored nine runs that inning, giving them an 11-7 lead and the victory, as the Eagles dropped the second game of what would become a three-game FSU sweep.