As the saying goes, “You can’t stop them, you can only hope to contain them.”
Following a 10-5 victory over Maine on Tuesday, Boston College baseball head coach Mike Gambino said the Eagles’ lineup is “relentless,” and that no matter how long it takes, once the Eagles “break out,” they’re a force to be reckoned with.
It took the Eagles five innings to “break out,” but after trading blows with the Black Bears throughout that span, the Eagles opened the floodgates in the sixth. After freshman Cameron Leary launched a 3-1 fastball over the left-center fence, the Eagles shifted into final gear, putting up five more runs––including three of their five home runs on the day—for a 10-5 win.
BC (9-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast) and Maine (3-2) combined for three hits in the first three innings, but the third frame ended with Maine up 2-1. Quinn McDaniel led off the game with an inside-the-park home run, during which BC right fielder Dante Baldelli collided with the right-field wall. Gambino said that Baldelli wanted to return to the game but the coaching staff opted to be cautious and sit him out for the remainder of the game.
Cody Morissette answered in the bottom of the third inning, connecting with a middle-in fastball that flew over the centerfield wall.
BC pitcher Joey Ryan did not yield a run for the remainder of his start. He sat down the middle of the Black Bears’ lineup 1-2-3 in the fourth. After two Black Bears reached to begin the fifth, he fielded a bunt to make the first out at third, and struck out the next two batters. Ryan ended his first collegiate start with six strikeouts in five innings pitched.
Following a scoreless fifth inning, John West relieved Ryan to begin the sixth. The Black Bears had West’s number and smoked four singles. Aided by a wild pitch, Maine put up two runs, taking the lead at 4-3.
After Luke Gold grounded out to begin the bottom of the sixth, Leary—filling in for injured Baldelli—put together a momentum-shifting at-bat.
After three consecutive balls to begin the count, Leary took strike one. On the next pitch, a middle-out fastball, he sent a flyball over the left-center wall, tying the game at 4-4.
Parker Landwehr and Travis Honeyman capitalized on the momentum and drew two walks in nine pitches. Freshman Joe Vetrano, pinch-hitting for Chris Galland, delivered an RBI ground ball that Maine second baseman McDaniel dove for, preventing a hit but allowing the run to score.
Charlie Coon, in relief of West, gave up two singles to begin the seventh, but after a double play by Morissette, Maine added just one run in the inning.
Morissette returned to the dugout, stepped into the batter’s box, and delivered a line-drive single up the middle to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Brian Dempsey and Jack Cunningham struck out and lined out, respectively, putting Gold—1-2 on the day and the hero of BC’s comeback win over Auburn—up to bat. On a 3-0 count, given the green light, Gold blasted a rope down the left field line to give the Eagles a lead they would not relinquish. Leary followed Gold with a solo shot of his own, putting the Eagles up 8-5.
“We really believed in his bat last year,” Gambino said of Gold. “Obviously we only got 14 games to see it, but I think people would have realized how special he is offensively last year, had we played a full season. And now we’re starting to see it.”
Morissette added his second home run of the day in the bottom of the eighth, turning on an inside fastball for a moonshot that went over the scoreboard in right field. Coon sat down Maine’s first three batters in the top of the ninth for the first win of his collegiate career.
Featured Image Courtesy of BC Athletics