BASEBALL: Late Rally Highlights Tourney For BC
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 00:02
After having their practice bubble collapsed by last weekend’s storm, members of the BC baseball team thought they’d be escaping the wintry elements of Chestnut Hill by opening their season in North Carolina at the Elon Invitational. But the Eagles could not get away from the snow despite traveling over 600 miles south, and dropped two out of three to begin the 2013 season.
On Sunday the Eagles lost 9-3 to the Marist Red Foxes. Sophomore Nick Poore got the start, and gave up five hits in three innings. By the time freshman Jeff Burke came in for the fourth, Marist had taken a 4-1 lead.
The Eagles loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth inning but could only manage two runs. Nate LaPointe hit an RBI single and Hernadez drew a walk to cut the deficit to 4-3, but after a strikeout and double play, the Eagles still trailed by one.
Marist got those two runs back their next turn up, using three consecutive singles and a sacrifice bunt to go up 6-3. While Marist tacked on a run in the seventh and another two in the eighth, the Eagles were shut down for the rest of the game, dropping their season record to 1-2.
“I think our bullpen’s going to end up being a strength for us,” said head coach Mike Gambino. “It’s going to take us awhile to get guys settled in, figure out where they fit and what their roles are. You’re dealing with such a young ballclub; it’s going to make for a fun year, but it also means it’s going to take a little time getting everyone situated and comfortable with their roles.
“I’m not real happy with how we came out [Sunday], but we also ran into two really good arms.”
The Eagles picked up their first win of the season Saturday against host school Elon. After jumping out to an early lead, BC used a five run rally in the eighth inning to squeak by with a 7-6 comeback victory.
John Gorman had a strong start for BC, working five one-run innings. The sophomore right-hander allowed only three hits and left with a 2-1 lead.
“[Gorman’s] such a competitor, anytime he starts getting into trouble he can kick it into another gear, and he did that a couple times,” Gambino said.
BC scored twice in the second inning after starting the frame with three hits. Matt Pare led off with a double to centerfield, and Geoff Murphy put runners on the corners for Travis Ferrick after he singled up the middle. The sophomore then crushed a double to deep left center, scoring both runners and earning the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
BC held that until the sixth inning, when the 2012 New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year runner-up Austin Solecitto came in for Gorman and gave up the lead within three batters. A HBP and single put two runners on for Elon’s Swim, who tripled to left center. Swim scored on the succeeding at bat by a sacrifice fly. Despite two errors after that RBI, Solecitto got out of the rest of the inning unscathed. Elon extended their lead to 6-2 by scoring twice more in the top half of the eighth.
The Eagles then erupted for five runs their turn at bat. Cronin led off by reaching on a throwing error by Elon’s third basemen, and McGovern and Tom Bourdon hit back to back singles, Bourdon’s cutting BC’s deficit to three. Blake Butera then walked to load the bases, and Shaw hit an RBI groundout. Bourdon came around to score after a wild pitch, and BC took the lead of Geoff Murphy’s triple to right center. Murphy then scored on a passed ball, and the Eagles finished the inning with five runs on just three hits.
“Murphy’s a tough competitive baseball player, he wants to win, is a great teammate, and he’s going to be able to help us in a bunch of different roles,” Gambino said. “He’ll be a two way guy for us: a position player and a pitcher. He and Hunter Gordon are going to be in our bullpen, two guys that will really help solidify and add depth.”
In their first game of the year on Friday, the Eagles lost a closely contested contest to Virginia Commonwealth. Junior Eric Stevens, coming off a sophomore campaign in which he finished with the fourth most starts in BC history, was tabbed as the opening day starter. Stevens scattered five hits over six innings and allowed only two runs, and when he gave way to the bullpen in the seventh, BC trailed by a run.
“Eric is so dependable, he’s such a workhorse for us,” Gambino said. “He’s the guy that we know is going to keep us in every ballgame. It means a lot to our ballclub to have a guy like that.”