Sports, Spring, Baseball

Eagles Continue Losing Skid With Scoreless Loss to UConn

On March 11, Boston College baseball stood at 9-2. Coming off series wins over ranked Duke and Auburn squads, the Eagles were flying high and ranked No. 13 nationally. Then the Eagles took the road to Louisville and suffered their first series sweep of the season.

The Eagles haven’t been the same since. They’ve won one of their past six weekend games, and this past weekend, Clemson posted 32 runs in three games. Midweek games have constituted all but one of BC’s wins over the last few weeks.

Going into Wednesday’s matchup with UConn, the Eagles were undefeated in midweek games. Past Tuesdays and Wednesdays electrified the dugout with explosive scoring and significant contributions from underclassmen. This Wednesday, however, the pattern didn’t hold. UConn (10-12) dismantled the Eagles (12-11) 12-0 in Storrs, Conn.

Halfway through the ballgame, neither team had put up a run. Joe Mancini, BC’s man on the mound, navigated effortlessly through four innings. Mancini’s defense delivered, as 11 of Mancini’s 12 outs were balls put in play. 

Fifty-five pitches later, Mancini clenched his fist as Christian Fedko’s inning-ending flyball set itself on a path to Sal Frelick’s mitt, completing his scoreless outing. UConn starter Pat Gallagher matched Mancini, going five innings without surrendering a run. Gallagher, like Mancini, attacked hitters early and often with fastballs.

Jon Campbell Jr. replaced Mancini in the bottom of the fifth. He put two outs on the board quickly, leaving a hit batter at first. UConn senior and three-year captain Chris Winkel then stepped up to the plate. The lefty wasn’t up for long—Campbell let loose a belt-high inside fastball, and Winkel got every ounce of it. The ball soared out of the park, putting the Huskies up 2-0.

The sixth inning came and went, and the only man to reach was UConn catcher Pat Winkel, brother of Chris, lacing a double into right-center field. In the top of the seventh, the Eagles went down in order.

The Huskies found their groove late. After a groundout to begin the bottom of the seventh inning, the Huskies posted five consecutive hits, running through three BC pitchers. 

Designated hitter Ben Maycock singled, and third baseman Chris Brown followed him with a ground-rule double. With the Huskies threatening, BC reliever Max Gieg was replaced with Ryan Smith. Smith lost control of a pitch, letting Maycock score and Brown advance to third. 

Chris Winkel promptly drove Brown in with a single to left field. BC head coach Mike Gambino returned to his bullpen, and Joey Ryan took the bump. Leadoff man Zach Bushling drove one up the middle on an 0-2 count for a single, moving Chris Winkel to second. Kyler Fedko then took his turn, having a quiet, 0-3 day at the plate. After his hitless start, Kyler Fedko crushed a three-run homer to left, blowing the door wide open for a 7-0 Husky lead.

The eighth followed an identical rhythm to the seventh. BC hitters went down in short order in the top of the inning, and then the Eagles rotated through three relievers in the bottom of the frame, giving up another five runs. 

Christian Fedko walked to begin the bottom of the eighth, and then the Huskies posted four successive hits, culminating in a two-RBI home run for Chris Winkel, his second of the day, after a two-RBI single by Brown. After eight, the Huskies led 12-0, which held through the final inning.

Featured Image by Kristian Lamarre / Heights Staff

March 31, 2021