Eagles Take Doubleheader On Back Of Dominant First-Inning Performance

As Chris Shaw stepped into the batter’s box, the Maryland Terrapins made a choice that you hardly ever see in Boston College baseball. The catcher extended his arm way out to the side, far clear of the strike zone, and played catch with Mike Shawaryn for four straight pitches, intentionally walking Shaw and advancing a runner into scoring position.

That was the way it was going for the Terps-with Shaw coming up to bat holding two home runs under his belt in the doubleheader, they needed to slow his damage. Ultimately, it was to no avail, as Shaw ended up four for seven on the day, and the Eagles took the second game of Friday’s doubleheader by a score of 7-4, completing their sweep of the day and guaranteeing the series win.

The doubleheader, though not originally scheduled, came as a result of forecasted rain on Saturday. The Eagles did not have to change their game plan, though.

“We keep our pitching the same, our guys do a good job,” said head coach Mike Gambino. “We keep our starters the same, trust that bullpen, and play game one then play game two.”

Andrew Chin started on the mound for the Eagles, but looked shaky at first, hitting Maryland’s first batter. The Eagles escaped the top of the first without giving up a hit or a run, though, and their defensive effort was rewarded in the bottom of the first.

Five straight batters at the top of the order for BC had hits, Gabriel Hernandez, Shaw, and Michael Strem each had doubles, while Joe Cronin and Blake Butera had singles of their own. The half-inning was reminiscent of its game one counterpart, when the Eagles scored four runs on four hits.

“I think it was guys going up and being aggressive and attacking fastballs,” Gambino said. “And in both first innings, they got fastballs to hit and hammer them.”

It was not until the sixth batter came up to the plate that Maryland recorded its first out, but then it had three straight, and the Eagles left one on base. The Terrapins had their first hit of the game when leadoff batter Jose Cuas made it to first on the first at-bat of the second, but Maryland would exit the inning with two left on base after Chin walked Anthony Papio. The Eagles were hitless in the bottom of the second and left the score at 4-0, BC.

In the top of the third, Maryland got on the board, scoring two and cutting the Eagles’ lead in half.

Shaw had a single-shot home run in the bottom of the third to make it 5-2. It was his second home run of the day before being intentionally walked in his next at-bat in the bottom of the fifth and was left on base at the end of the inning.

“He’s fun to watch hit right now, isn’t he,” Gambino said. “He changes our lineup. He changes our team … [He] didn’t have the year last year that he would have like to have, and he had a little slump in the middle, but I never lost faith in who that kid is and who he’s going to become as a player.”

In the top of the sixth, southpaw Jesse Adams replaced Chin on the mound, Chin’s totals for the game finishing at two runs, five hits, and four strikeouts. The Terrapins quickly took advantage of the pitching change, putting up three hits and two runs and cutting the deficit to one on Adams before he was taken out in favor of Luke Fernandes after two-thirds of an inning. Fernandes closed out the half inning stranding two Terrapin runners on base.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Eagles extended their lead once again, when Hernandez drove in Hennessy, and then Butera brought home designated hitter Johnny Adams before the side was retired, bringing the game to its final score of 7-4.

Fernandes finished his two and one third innings, allowing a total of two hits and no runs, before John Nicklas came in to close in the top of the ninth. The Terrapins put three runners on base in the ninth, as one was hit by Nicklas’ pitch and two others singled, but the Eagles escaped the inning unscathed.

“It’s a team learning to close out games…They didn’t really barrel anything, [Nicklas] was throwing the ball great,” Gambino said.

“It’s a young team that’s really playing well, that’s learning how to win baseball games, like we saw today, and also learning how to sweep a team,” Gambino said. “And that’s what you’re going for.”


About Marly Morgus 46 Articles
Marly Morgus was the Associate Sports Editor of The Heights in 2014. She's going to France and will only return to America if Grant Hedrick and Chase Rettig are given contracts in the Arena Football League.