Sports, Spring, Baseball

BC Snaps Three-Game Skid With Seventh Inning Push Past Siena

With a 14-hit outing against Siena on Wednesday, it looks like Boston College baseball has some of its mojo back. The Eagles rebounded from a three-game losing streak against Wake Forest and Northeastern with a solid win to round out midweek play on Wednesday afternoon against Siena. After a slow start, BC’s pitching and defense buckled down, en route to a 7-5 victory.

The Eagles (11-9, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) had no problems putting the bat on the ball as a team, but Cody Morissette, Gian Martellini, and Dante Baldelli each had particularly strong games for BC. The trio combined to bat 7-for-11, score five runs and record four RBIs. Siena (4-11) had similar early success, but ultimately could not overcome the plethora of chances the Eagles found and were hampered by the 14 men they left on base.

It took BC an inning to get things going on offense, but that wasn’t the case for the visitors. Siena’s batters hit some quality balls off starting pitcher Michael Marzonie in the first inning. Ryan McGee drove the first hit of the game into short right field for a single. A scary moment followed, though, as Bulldogs infielder Brian Kelly was hit in the head by an errant pitch. Kelly fell to the ground before quickly getting back to his feet. Thankfully, he was not injured on the play. Catcher Alex Malone drove McGee in for the first run with a dribbler to centerfield. The Bulldogs closed the inning with one more hit, a Nick Ramos single, before leaving three men on base heading into the bottom of the first.

The Eagles had a lackluster opening frame, due in part to the sharp pitching from Siena’s Ben Seiler. The freshman recorded two strikeouts in the bottom of the first, getting Chris Galland and Jack Cunningham to bookend the inning.

The quick first inning from Seiler wasn’t a sign of things to come, though, as the Bulldogs ended up using nine pitchers. Ryan Bellomo, who replaced Seiler on the mound, particularly struggled to get outs. The Eagles piled up four straight hits after Morissette walked. Martellini hit a line drive into right field, then catcher Peter Burns followed by bringing in Morissette with a single. Both Burns and Martellini then scored, as Joe Suozzi and Baldelli recorded hits of their own.

In the top of the fourth, the Eagles suffered a pair of miscues from reliever Zach Stromberg, who entered after Marzonie was charged with one earned run on three hits in two innings of work. Stromberg walked Siena’s leadoff hitter, Nick Melillo, and then—in attempt to keep the freshman speedster in check—overthrew first base, allowing Melillo to run to second. Bulldogs outfielder Zach Durfee proceeded to lace a single to center, driving Melillo home and memorializing Stromberg’s error on the scoreboard. BC’s Chris Galland responded in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single that scored Baldelli.

But after that, the momentum seemed to swing in favor of the visitors when they faced Eagles reliever Jack Nelson. In the seventh inning alone, Siena scored two runs on four hits. Pinch hitter Carson Dunkel logged a base hit as the lead-off batter. Ramos followed suit for Siena, lining a shot into right field. With two outs and two runners in scoring position, Bulldogs second baseman Tim Carroll drove a game-tying two-run single up the middle. For a moment, it appeared Siena was threatening to hand BC a fourth consecutive loss.

The Eagles deserve a tremendous amount of credit for their half of the seventh inning, though, as they scored two runs that effectively put the game away. Morissette reached on a flukish fielder’s choice play that resulted in no outs, but, rather, a Brian Dempsey run for BC, putting head coach Mike Gambino’s team up for good. Martellini continued his big game by following up Morissette’s RBI single with one of his own. With some clutch hitting, the Eagles weathered the Siena comeback attempt.

In the top of the ninth, it was Travis Lane’s crunch-time pitching that sealed the win. Lane struck out his first two batters of the ninth inning, getting Durfee swinging on three consecutive pitches and striking Carroll out looking. Lane then forced a fly ball to center field that was easily caught by Baldelli to end the game.

BC’s win on Wednesday comes with a bit of relief, especially following a four-game road swing that ended with three straight losses. The win also provides a boost heading into the weekend when the Eagles have a three-game home stand against Clemson. The Eagles, though, are welcoming the challenge of playing Clemson. As Gambino put it, BC is accustomed to playing top-notch teams in the ACC, and it’s excited to play against the Tigers starting Friday.

Featured Image by Delaney Vorwick / For The Heights

March 21, 2019

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