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BASEBALL: BC Off To Hot Start With Three-Win Weekend

For The Heights

Published: Monday, February 17, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 17, 2014 04:02

The Boston College baseball team played four games at Santa Clara University over the weekend, two against SCU and the other two against the Nevada Wolfpack.

The Eagles finished 3-1 on the weekend, dropping only their opener against the Wolfpack, and will look to build on their auspicious start as the days get longer and the snow begins to melt on Shea Field.

BC started off its season against Nevada on Friday with a 4-1 loss. The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, but gave that run and another back in the top of the third when starting pitcher Eric Stevens gave up two runs on two doubles and a hit-by-pitch.

Stevens kept the Wolfpack off the scoreboard in the balance of his six innings, but reliever Tyler Hinchiffe got touched up for two runs on two hits in the seventh. Nevada suppressed BC’s offense and maintained the three-run lead, but not without some drama. In the bottom of the eighth, the Eagles loaded the bases with two outs before left fielder Logan Hoggarth harmlessly flied out to center field. Nevada’s Jason Deitrich finished off his 10-out save with a clean bottom of the ninth.

The Eagles picked up two wins on Saturday, taking both ends of the double header at Santa Clara’s Schott Stadium.

The first game of the day was against one of BC’s Jesuit brethren, SCU, and the Eagles jumped out to an early 3-0 lead by the top of the third. Starting pitcher John Gorman kept SCU down for all of his six innings, striking out five and walking only two. Santa Clara pushed across its only run in the bottom of the eighth inning when Broncos shortstop Greg Harisis took BC reliever John Nicklas deep to left field.

The Eagles made that dinger moot in the next half inning by plating a run of their own, and Jesse Adams struck out two in the bottom of the ninth to seal BC’s first victory of the season.

The most impressive win of BC’s infant season came later on Saturday, when the Eagles took down the Wolfpack 7-3, powered by a five-run sixth inning and five one-hit innings from top starting pitcher Andrew Chin.

Chin’s only blemish came in the bottom of the third, when Kewby Meyer came around to score after he doubled with one out for Nevada’s only hit off Chin. The redshirt sophomore retired the final eight batters he faced, and BC’s offense capitalized on the chance its starter gave it when it plated five runs on three hits and an error right after Chin left the game in the top of the sixth.

Nevada added two runs of its own in the bottom of the frame, but the score held steady in the last third of the game and BC took its second win of the day and season.

A 2-2 start would have been a more-than-fine weekend for BC head coach Mike Gambino’s team, and that’s what the Eagles were looking at when they went down 5-0 after the second inning on Sunday in the last game of the weekend against the hosting Broncos. Gambino yanked starting pitcher Jeff Burke after the third inning, and the BC bullpen held SCU to just one run the rest of the way, opening the door for BC’s lineup to chip away at the deficit.

The Eagles added two in the fourth, two more in the seventh, and one in the eighth to pull within one in the game’s final frame. With runners on second and third, and no outs after Blake Butera’s double, Tom Bourdon singled to drive in Joe Cronin, and Butera scored on John Hennessey’s sacrifice fly to center field to complete the comeback effort.

After BC added another, Nicklas picked up the first save of his college career to cap off the 8-6 win and a successful weekend for the Eagles to start the season.

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