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
One of the lone bright spots for Gambino’s squad was a Perdios double, which extended his career-best hit streak to seven games.
Otherwise, the Wolfpack got the best of Eagles’ starter Hunter Gordon. Only one of the four runs he surrendered were earned, but it would be all NC State would need to break even in the series. BC’s ACC foe interrupted Gordon’s solid start to the game with a four-run fifth inning, highlighted by a pair of doubles off the bats of Chris Diaz and Ciencin.
Coming out of a rain delay in the sixth inning, the Eagles sparked their lone rally of the game after Butera singled with two outs. Tom Bourdon would follow with a hard-hit double down the line, sending Butera racing around third base attempting to get the Eagles on the board. The BC freshman was thrown out at the plate for the third out, however, ending the scoring threat and stunting the Eagles’ brief momentum.
From there, the Wolfpack kept cruising along on the shoulders of a tremendous outing by Rodon. In his eight innings of work, the crafty lefty struck out 10 BC batters and improved his record to 7-0 on the season.
“Carlos Rodon is one of the top left-handed pitchers in the country,” Gambino remarked in reflection of Saturday’s shutout loss. “He might be the best arm we’ve seen this year … he kind of really just shut down our offense. We actually had very good at-bats against him. We just couldn’t string [anything] together. We had great at-bats all weekend.”
The NC State lineup would tack on another five runs in the final innings, capped by a Matthews home run. A silent BC offense bereft of scoring opportunities went down silently, securing Rodon’s shutout and giving the Wolfpack a lift heading into the decisive rubber game.
Due to a forecast of inclement weather for Sunday at Dail Park, the series finale was pushed up to Saturday. Capping the last-minute doubleheader, the Eagles looked to quickly bounce back from the 9-0 drubbing they faced earlier in the day and win the series. The Wolfpack had other plans, however, and defeated the Eagles by a score of 16-9 despite a valiant offensive effort from Gambino’s squad.
The Eagles jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to an RBI groundout by Melchionda and a hot shot off the bat of Moir that plated Butera. Just as they had done all weekend long, the Wolfpack stormed back into the game, scoring four runs of their own in the second half of the first inning. Two singles resulted in a run thanks to a BC throwing error, and a frozen rope from Logan Ratledge gave NC State the lead. BC’s Pare responded with a double in the third frame, and came around to score off of a Perdios RBI. The Eagles’ third-inning comeback was highlighted by a two-run dinger off the bat of Butera, which gave the Eagles a 5-4 advantage. The timely home run was the rookie’s third in 2012.
Another rally by the Wolfpack capped by a Danny Canela double saw NC State jump out by a score of 7-5. The Eagles would quickly respond in the top half of the sixth inning with a rally of their own. With the bases loaded, Bourdon came through with a single to center field that cleared the bases thanks to an NC State outfield miscue. When the dust finally cleared, the Eagles were back out in front, 8-7.
Following the weekend’s theme of high-scoring comebacks, the Wolfpack exploded with five runs of their own off of BC’s bullpen in the bottom half of the inning. Another Diaz double and another smack by Matthews off Gorman helped NC State amass a 12-7 lead, a margin that would eventually be widened by another four Wolfpack runs that all but sealed the visiting team’s fate.
Though the Eagles fought back with two more runs off of a Pare bases-loaded walk and a Bourdon sac fly, the deficit was too great for BC to overcome. Even after their three comebacks in nine innings, Gambino’s squad found itself on the losing end of a 16-9 final.
Despite BC’s inability to put the game away on Saturday, the second-year BC head coach remains positive about his bullpen.
“Our bullpen’s getting better,” he said. “They were doing a real good job earlier in the year, and a couple games when we couldn’t get the bats going. This past weekend, we gave it up a little bit but the bat’s picked them up. So it’s kind of part of the deal. [The bullpen] will do a great job. Those guys … have been throwing the ball real well for us, and they’ll continue throwing the ball well.”
Although the Eagles dropped two out of three in the series, their never-say-die attitude and hard-nosed play allowed them to challenge a highly ranked conference nemesis and pull out an upset victory. As tough competition awaits BC in the home stretch of its season, Gambino hopes his team builds upon its ability to challenge opposing powerhouses for all nine innings.
“It sounds like an old coaching cliche, but it really is true: whether it’s good or bad, don’t let what happened yesterday affect tomorrow, play one game at a time. At this point, we just want to refocus, get ready, and play a game on Tuesday against a really good St. John’s team.”