For a solid stretch of the season, Boston College baseball struggled greatly against opponents in midweek games. The Eagles dropped winnable decisions to the likes of Hartford, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Northeastern. BC regained its rhythm last week, though, with victories over Quinnipiac and Rhode Island. After their loss to UMass in the first round of the Beanpot, the Eagles were relegated to the consolation game to face the Huskies with a chance to avenge their previous defeat.
And that they did. With both teams using a wide rotation of pitchers, BC ultimately got the better performance from its throwers and batters, as it prevailed over Northeastern at Fenway Park, 5-3.
Third baseman Jake Alu, who came in sporting a team-best .345 batting average for the Eagles (19-19, 7-11 Atlantic Coast), kicked off the contest with a single to right field. Soon after, though, Brian Dempsey grounded into a double play, and the Eagles failed to plate a run in the first frame. Matt Gill, the right-hander who started for BC, pitched a 1-2-3 inning to stymy the Huskies (17-19, 7-5 Colonial Athletic).
Unfortunately for the Eagles, they couldn’t get anything going in the second inning, either. Northeastern pitcher Brandon Dufault struck out both Jack Cunningham and Cody Morissette, en route to blanking BC in the frame. Meanwhile, the Huskies’ bats came alive. A Corey DiLoreto single, coupled with a Jeff Costello walk, put runners on first and second. The threat was somewhat mitigated by a double play from the next at-bat, but DiLoreto still managed to make his way to third. Huskies third baseman Ryan Solomon proceeded to hit a double, driving DiLoreto in for the game’s first run.
During the top of the third inning, Chris Galland and Gian Martellini advanced to second and third, respectively, but Dempsey ended the inning with a strikeout on a full count. Joey Walsh subbed in for Gill, and he started the inning by hitting Cam Walsh with a pitch. Joey Walsh would record two outs, but Cam Walsh navigated to third base, thanks to both an error and a wild pitch. Luckily for BC, DiLoreto grounded out to end the inning.
After three scoreless innings, the Eagles finally got on the board. Sam Jacobsak came in to pitch for the Huskies, and he found himself in trouble from the onset. He immediately walked freshman Sal Frelick, who later stole second. Cunningham was then hit by a pitch, putting two runners on base. Ramon Jimenez came up to the plate and hit a deep fly ball that reached the warning track. Jimenez flied out, but Frelick advanced to third. Shortly after, Cunningham stole second. On a 2-2 count, Morissette grounded out to third, but Frelick scored the tying run. Following that RBI, the Eagles scored another run, courtesy of a Martellini double, which sent Cunningham home.
Walsh regained command as he hurled a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fourth. The fifth inning passed by without much incident, as both teams failed to log a hit or a walk. In contrast, the sixth inning saw plenty of action. While Josh Winkley shut the Eagles down in the previous inning, he couldn’t control them in the sixth.
Frelick reached first off an error, and Cunningham hit a double to center, which put both runners in scoring position. Northeastern committed its second error, as right fielder Costello bobbled a flyball from Jimenez, allowing him to load the bases. Morissette came up to bat, and he rocketed a deep fly ball to the warning track. It was fielded by Walsh, but a slow throw to the plate, combined with an error, allowed both Frelick and Cunningham to score on the sac fly.
The Huskies would respond with two runs of their own, though. Freshman pitcher Joe Mancini entered for BC and got two outs with a runner on second, but he had a tough time securing the third and final out. Costello singled and then stole second, which put runners on second and third. Junior Jake Rosen then approached the plate and hit a double to right field, driving in both runs to make it a one-run game.
Luckily for BC, Northeastern failed to close the deficit. Neither team scored in the seventh and eighth innings, and the Eagles added another insurance run with an RBI single from Dempsey. Thomas Lane came in for the save situation, but he didn’t exactly give fans confidence by walking the leadoff batter with four pitches. Yet, in the next at-bat, Solomon grounded into a double play, and Lane recorded the final out not too long after that.
The win snaps a two-game skid stemming from the Georgia Tech weekend series while also putting the Eagles back at .500. At 19 victories, BC has already surpassed its win total from last year—17—with a full month left in the regular season. It’s clear that the Eagles have the talent to compete with any team in the country, it’s just a matter of them consistently producing, especially during weekend series. A trip down to Chapel Hill to face No. 17 North Carolina will be a good indicator of whether the Eagles have finally rounded the corner and can firmly establish a winning record.
Featured Image by Jess Rivilis / Heights Staff