BC Wins Series Opener At NC State Before Dropping Pair
Eagles Secure 11-10 Win On Friday Night, But Wolfpack Sweep Saturday Doubleheader
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 20:01
Looking to bounce back from a tough loss to Rhode Island and continue its string of success against ranked opponents, the Boston College baseball team traveled to ACC foe No. 18 North Carolina State over the weekend for a three-game set against the Wolfpack.
The series proved to be an offensive slugfest, with both teams accounting for a total of 55 runs. Though BC would edge out an exciting upset victory in Friday’s contest, it went on to be swept in Saturday’s doubleheader, handing NC State a win of the series. In a way, the weekend served as an embodiment of the Eagles’ season thus far—their talent and toughness allowed them to keep close with yet another ranked opponent, but they struggled to seal the deal at game’s end.
Friday night marked game one of the series at Dail Park. Taking over four hours to complete nine innings, the matchup proved to be a marathon affair. In the end, however, it was worth it for head coach Mike Gambino’s Eagles, as they managed to outscore a strong Wolfpack squad by a score of 11-10.
For the first three-and-a-half innings, BC’s Taylor Lasko and the Wolfpack’s Ethan Ogburn seemed to be locked in a pitcher’s duel, with neither team plating a run. NC State would strike first blood in the bottom of the fourth, however, when State’s Jake Fincher drove in Andrew Ciencin with a single to produce the game’s first run. Though Lasko managed to avoid further trouble, this half-inning would mark the start of a game-long offensive outburst. Showing their characteristic perseverance, the Eagles fought back in the top of the fifth after Anthony Melchionda led off by crushing a double off of the wall in center. After Rob Moir advanced to first thanks to a wild pitch on the third strike, which also moved Melchionda to third, Spenser Payne walked to load the bases. Coming up in a clutch situation, Matt Pare stayed patient at the plate and drew a bases-loaded walk to plate Melchionda. The Eagles took the lead thanks to Travis Ferrick, who continued the scoring with a two-run double to left field.
BC was prepared to exit the fifth inning with their lead intact, but NC State’s Ryan Matthews responded with a two-out, two-run homerun to the tie the score. In this back-and-forth contest, the Eagles fought back with another three runs in the sixth off of a Marc Perdios double, a wild pitch, and a passed ball, putting coach Gambino’s squad up by a score of 6-3. Perdios’ timely extra-base knock extended his hitting streak to six games.
Once again, the Wolfpack would not be easily silenced. In the bottom of the second, NC State plated another four runs to regain the lead after capitalizing on two costly BC errors and a wild pitch.
For the third time in the game, however, the Eagles would pull ahead—this time, for good. Melchionda led off with a single and put himself in scoring position by swiping second. Perdios and Payne followed with a walk and a single, to load the bases. After BC’s John Hennessy replaced Melchionda as pinch runner, he took advantage of another Wolfpack miscue from off the mound and scored the game-tying run off of a wild pitch. The Eagles would go on to load the bases again in the same inning, setting the stage for a searing three-run double off the bat of Matt McGovern to give the Eagles a 10-7 lead. Freshman standout Blake Butera provided a much-needed insurance run with a well-hit double of his own, extending the lead to four runs.
Though the Wolfpack rallied with three runs in their final two at-bats, BC’s John Gorman recorded the final out in the bottom of the ninth to seal the deal, and earned the Eagles their seventh victory over a ranked opponent.
Gambino was pleased with the Eagles’ hard-fought victory over a formidable opponent, but he also realizes that winning big games like these is part of competing in one of the nation’s toughest conferences.
“One of the things about our league is you’re playing top-ranked teams every weekend,” he said. “We get so used to playing teams in the Top 10, Top 15 that it’s just what we’re used to doing.”
Despite BC’s late-inning heroics the night before, the first game of Saturday’s twin billing proved to be the low point of the weekend. Coming out flat against a dominant performance by NC State’s lefty starter Carlos Rodon, the Eagles were shutout in a 9-0 defeat.