Sports, Spring, Baseball

BC Holds Onto Lead Over Northeastern for Contested Win

BROOKLINE, Mass. — Boston College baseball’s cleanup hitter Luke Gold stepped up to the plate to lead off the second inning on Tuesday and promptly drove a ball to the left side of the field for a single. After BC’s next batter went down looking on seven pitches, Vince Cimini came up to bat. Cimini found his pitch and drove it up the middle to Northeastern’s deep right-center field alley for a double and an RBI—BC’s first of two runs in the inning and five in the game.

After losing six of its last seven games, BC (14-13, 4-11 Atlantic Coast) made the short trip down the MBTA’s Green Line to Northeastern (10-6). The game passed almost as quickly as the T ride from Chestnut Hill to Brookline, as the first half of the game passed without much excitement before the action picked up later on.

Joe Mancini took the mound for the Eagles in his second and most successful start of the season. Mancini threw for six total innings, his first five of which were scoreless. 

When Mancini stepped up to the rubber for the sixth inning, however, his fate changed. Northeastern’s first batter put the Huskies on the board with a slicing line drive that barely cleared the short porch in left field. Two pitches later, Northeastern’s second batter of the inning sent another of Mancini’s pitches out of the park, this time decidedly just to the left of the scoreboard in left-center field. 

Mancini sat the Huskies down in the bottom of the sixth without allowing any further damage after BC’s head coach Mike Gambino took a mound visit, but Mancini did not emerge from the dugout to pitch in the seventh. Mancini allowed two runs on five hits over six innings of work and struck out four Huskies while walking one batter and hitting two.

Joe Vetrano relieved Mancini in the top of the seventh and started out as hot as his predecessor. Vetrano retired the Huskies in order in the seventh and recorded two strikeouts, but he faced more resistance in the eighth. He started the inning with a groundout to Jack Cunningham at first but let the next Northeastern batter drive a double into the right-center field gap. He retired the next batter for a second out, but he couldn’t get out of the inning before allowing an RBI single to left.

While BC had more offensive success than Northeastern, the Eagles’ bats remained relatively quiet with five runs on just seven hits. BC led for the entirety of the game, scoring two in the second inning followed by one each in the sixth, seventh, and ninth. 

The Eagles scored their final insurance run in the ninth when Cameron Leary recorded a leadoff triple before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Peter Burns.

The southpaw Charlie Coon came in to close out the game for the Eagles and recorded his first save of the season. He allowed Northeastern a glimmer of hope when it put runners on first and second with one out following a single and a walk, but Gambino interrupted Northeastern’s momentum with a mound visit. Coon then promptly sat down Northeastern’s next two batters on strikes for the final two outs of the game.

The only Eagle with more than one hit on the afternoon was Cody Morissette—one of which was a triple that later resulted in a run—but eight Eagles reached base in what was a true team effort. 

BC has struggled this season with leaving runners on base, but the Eagles managed to control this problem relatively well on Tuesday. BC scored in most of its chances, stranding just five runners compared to Northeastern’s eight. The Huskies out hit the Eagles 8-7, so BC’s ability to convert baserunners into runs ultimately made the difference between a win and a loss.

Featured Image Courtesy of BC Athletics

April 6, 2021