Eagles Stay Hot Heading Into ACC Play

Boston College baseball headed down to Port Charlotte, Fla. to participate in the Snowbird Baseball Classic this past week. The Eagles were 7-0 heading into the final stretch of games in Florida and hoped to keep the undefeated streak alive going into ACC play this weekend against North Carolina State.

On Tuesday, BC faced Central Michigan. Freshman left-handed pitcher Zach Stromberg got the start and opened up the game with a 1-2-3 first against the Chippewas. Jake Palomaki walked before Joe Cronin hit a two-run homer over the left field fence. Michael Strem then doubled and was sent home off a Nick Sciortino grounder, giving BC a 3-0 lead to open the game. The Chippewas got two back in the second and managed to tie the game at three apiece in the third after a bases-loaded single.

In the fourth inning, the Eagles loaded the bases after two hit-by-pitches and a walk. Gabriel Hernandez hit a sac fly to break the tie. To keep things going, Palomaki singled to make it 5-3. Cronin hit a chopper to third, which was mishandled by the third baseman, allowing two runs.

With the help of four relief pitchers, the Eagles held the Chippewas scoreless for the rest of the game. Johnny Adams and Cronin finished things off with a single and double, respectively. Strem hit a double to make it a 9-3 victory.

On Monday, BC went head-to-head with Butler. The Eagles started off hot and scored four runs in the second inning to take a 4-0 edge. But the Bulldogs took the lead in the same inning after scoring five runs, all of which were scored with two outs.

To open up the fourth inning, Stephen Sauter singled and moved to third after a wild pitch and grounder by Mitch Bigras. With runners on the corners, Dominic Hardaway and Palomaki worked to bring them home, making it a 7-5 lead. But this would be the last lead for the Eagles.

The Bulldogs scored seven runs off of three different BC pitchers to go up 12-7. The Eagles chipped away at the deficit, but could not make the comeback and suffered their second loss of the season, falling 12-10.

On Sunday, the Eagles took on Ohio State. Jesse Adams pitched four 1-2-3 innings to open up the game. To start the bottom of the fourth, Johnny Adams doubled down the left line and moved to third on a throwing error. Strem sent him home with an RBI single. Cronin and Donovan Casey got on board, and after a throwing error by the third baseman, the Eagles had a 2-0 lead.

BC continued to rack up runs and had a 6-0 lead after six innings. The Buckeyes earned two runs but struggled to make a comeback, handing BC a 6-2 victory.

On Saturday, the Eagles faced North Dakota State in an afternoon matchup. In the first, Palomaki bunted and advanced to second after a throwing error. Adams grounded out to shortstop, allowing Palomaki to move to third. Strem brought Palomaki home after another grounder, giving BC a 1-0 lead. For the next seven innings, it was a relatively quiet game. Freshman Jacob Stevens did not allow a hit through six innings and had a career-high of nine strikeouts.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Bison decided to make some noise. With the bases loaded, relief pitcher Bobby Skogsbergh gave up a walk, making it a 1-1 game. The Bison then cleared the bases with a double off the first pitch sent over the plate. The Eagles went into the ninth down 4-1. With a runner on first, Mitch Bigras hit an RBI sac fly to right. With two outs, BC could not make the comeback necessary to keep its winning streak alive, losing its first game this season 4-2.

Earlier that morning, BC squared off against Northwestern Wildcats. In the first inning, NU’s Joe Hoscheit doubled to right to give the Wildcats an early, 1-0 lead. Starting pitcher Mike King held NU to just one run, and finished the inning with a three-pitch strikeout.

The Eagles successfully got into scoring position to start the first few innings, but their teammates struggled at the plate. Going into the sixth inning, it was a 1-0 game. King had two outs and a player on second when NU’s Ben Dickey stepped into the batter’s box. Dickey sent a single up the middle in order to drive his teammate home and make it a 2-0 game. The Eagles finally got on the board after Strem hit a lead-off double and Casey sent him home with an RBI single. With no outs, BC was only down 2-1. Casey headed to third on a wild pitch, allowing Gian Martellini to tie the game with a fly ball.

To start the eighth, John Nicklas came in to replace King, who gave up eight hits and two walks, but struck out seven. Nicklas had a 1-2-3 inning, giving BC an opportunity to take the lead. With runners on the corners, Cronin hit a single up the middle creating a 3-2 lead. Martellini’s double to left then increased the Eagles lead to 5-2. Pinch runner Dominic Hardaway scored on a wild pitch making it a 6-2 heading into the ninth. The Wildcats got one back in the final inning, but BC walked away with a 6-3 win. With an 8-0 record, this victory gave the Eagles the best start in program history.

Featured Image by Michael Sullivan / Heights Editor

March 11, 2016

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