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BC Earns Three Quality Wins In Opening Tourney To Start Season Hot

Assoc. Sports Editor

Published: Sunday, February 19, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

This past weekend, the Boston College baseball team (3-0) swept its first series of the season in the Caravelle Resort Classic in Conway, S.C. The team played three games in two days, due to inclement weather. The Eagles faced off against several strong programs in No. 17 Virginia, James Madison, and Coastal Carolina.

"It sounds kind of weird because we had three wins, but I don't think we did anything spectacular this weekend," said head coach Mike Gambino. "We just played good, clean baseball. Guys threw strikes, we caught the baseball for the most part, and we had really good at-bats throughout the weekend. We had good situational at-bats when we needed to. It was just good, solid baseball."

On Saturday night, BC beat Coastal Carolina, 8-3, behind solid performances by starting pitcher Hunter Gordon, shortstop Anthony Melchionda, and sophomore outfielder Tom Bourdon. Gordon, who saw a lot of action as a relief pitcher last season, threw five innings in which he walked three, struck out six, and didn't give up a run. Melchionda and Bourdon each hit a homerun, adding to the Eagles' six extra-base hits.

BC scored first when Melchionda hit a towering home run over the leftfield fence with Bourdon on second. Bourdon added to the lead with a two-out solo home run in the third inning.

The Eagles made a major impact in the fourth inning. Designated hitter Marc Perdios and first baseman Spenser Payne led off the inning with back-to-back doubles. Then several fielding errors gave the Eagles an opportunity to add some insurance. With the bases loaded, Bourdon knocked in three runs with a double. Melchionda added another RBI with a grounder to short. This put the Eagles up 8-0.

The Chanticleers would not go down without a fight, however, as they scored three runs in the bottom of the final frame.

In the morning game, the Eagles faced James Madison University. The team looked to sophomore Matt Alvarez for the start, and he delivered with 5.2 innings of work. He did not allow a hit until the sixth inning. He finished the day by giving up one hit, six walks, and one unearned run.

"He had a really good outing," Gambino said. "He ended up throwing 97 pitches, but I didn't want him throwing that many pitches. I didn't want him really going above 90. I gave him one more batter twice, and all of a sudden he was at 97 pitches. That's on me, but his stuff was really good. He needs to command the zone a little bit better, and he knows that. He's getting better. When his stuff was in the zone, he was dominant. He didn't give up a hit until the sixth inning, and it was a bunt hit. That was the only hit he gave up. When he's in the zone, those guys can't touch him."

Offensively, the Eagles gave a full team effort with five different players recording two hits. Once again, Melchionda led the way with two doubles, and junior Rob Moir hit his first career three-bagger.

The team's scoring began in the first. With the bases loaded on two walks and a single, Bourdon scored on a wild pitch. Matt Pare followed with a walk, and Perdios brought home the second run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to right.

In the second inning, the Eagles' patience at the plate prevailed again, as two players walked to start the inning. After both players advanced on a balk, junior outfielder Matt McGovern singled to drive in a run. He then stole second, putting two runners in scoring position for Melchionda. The shortstop delivered with a two-RBI double to center. A misplay in center allowed Melchionda to reach third, and he was driven home on a slow roller in front of the mound by senior Andrew Lawrence, giving the Eagles a 6-0 lead.

BC added a run in both the third and fourth innings. After hitting a triple to lead off the inning, Moir was brought home on a single by John Hennessy. In the next inning, Lawrence doubled and scored on a double by Pare. This brought the score to 8-0, a BC lead that would last until a few sloppy plays by the Eagles led to three runs for the Dukes in the sixth. Then, in the seventh, the Dukes scored two unearned runs after a throwing error to first, though they would not score another run on the day.

In the team's opening game against No. 17 Virginia, the Eagles achieved the 5-3 upset behind the bat of Payne, who carried the Eagles with a three-run shot in the fourth.

The Cavaliers took the early lead, scoring three runs off pitcher Eric Stevens, but the Eagles exploded in the fourth inning. Bourdon once again acted as the catalyst for the offense, leading off with a double. Pare followed with a walk, and both runners advanced on a two-out passed ball. Next, Lawrence reached on a third-strike passed ball, and Bourdon used his speed to cross the plate. Payne followed with a huge shot over the leftfield wall. This put the Eagles up by one. BC would score one more run on a single by Melchionda in the fifth.

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