Sports, Spring, Baseball

Crushed By The Huskies

On March 1, the Boston College baseball team earned a hard-fought extra innings win in Port Charlotte, Fla., putting their record at 6-3, with things looking up after their dismal 2013 season. That 6-3 start seems like a distant memory at this point.

On Tuesday, the Eagles (7-15 overall, 1-8 in conference play) squared off against cross-town rival Northeastern in Brookline and were unable to tame the Huskies, losing in a 7-0 route. Northeastern wasted no time in knocking out junior starting pitcher Eric Stone, scoring three runs in the third inning and forcing head coach Mike Gambino to put in reliever Eric Stevens. Stevens was unable to stop the bleeding and surrendered three more runs in just two and one-third innings. Northeastern tacked on one more run in the bottom of the eighth for good measure, cementing the win. Throughout the game, BC’s pitching was rocked by Northeastern’s bats and allowed 12 hits and six walks.

On the flip side, BC compiled just three hits and two walks. The Eagles also struck out six times and were shut out for the second consecutive game. In their current losing streak, the Eagles have not been able to consistently get men on base and drive in runs. After BC’s strong offensive start to the season, the Eagles have fizzled in recent weeks. The team’s batting average has sunk to a lowly .231, with team leaders Gabriel Hernandez and Logan Hoggarth batting .250. In their first nine games, the Eagles averaged a solid 4.9 runs per game, and have since only produced at a 1.7 per game clip.

Since the 11-inning win against Villanova, BC has failed to score more than three runs in a single game, putting more pressure on the pitching staff. Gambino noted that his team has hit a bit of a rough patch.
“It’s just a team that’s pressing right now,” Gambino said. “We are trying too hard and trying to do too much.”

For Northeastern (10-10), this was an important win, as the Huskies have been building momentum since a rough start to the season. They have won nine of their last 14 games after beginning the season 1-5. Northeastern’s success against the Eagles can be attributed to an outstanding pitching performance from sophomore southpaw James Mulry, who allowed just one hit over seven innings and had a stretch where he retired 17 consecutive BC hitters. Mulry turned heads earlier in the season while playing the Red Sox when he struck out Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. Although Mulry has shown flashes of brilliance, he has struggled to maintain success, posting a 5.09 ERA in five starts while also conceding 25 hits in 23 innings of work. Northeastern alumnus and current Huskies assistant coach Mike Glavine saw a difference from previous starts in Mulry’s Tuesday performance.

“I just saw a lot of strikes and a lot of confidence,” Glavine said. “He’s an outstanding pitcher.”

Since that first game in March, the Eagles are a dreadful 1-12 overall and 1-8 in the ACC. One may attribute this slump to the fact that BC has played stiff competition in the likes of Virginia, Miami, and Wake Forest, but the Eagles need to prove that they can compete in league play if they want to make a run at the ACC tournament.

Despite Tuesday’s shaky outing, one of the few bright spots for the Eagles has been their two front of the rotation starters, junior John Gorman and redshirt sophomore Andrew Chin. Gorman leads the Eagles in innings pitched with 33.2 and an impressive 2.94 ERA over six starts. He also has been able throw strikes efficiently, forfeiting just five walks and holding a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5:1. Chin’s numbers are just as stunning, as he has posted a 1.82 ERA and has held opposing batters to a .182 batting average as well. Despite their solid performances over a combined 12 games, their aggregate record is a mere 4-4, which can easily be attributed to BC’s poor hitting.

March 27, 2014