Sports, Spring, Baseball

Offensive Onslaught Powers Eagles to Victory Over Holy Cross

After suffering a heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame on Saturday following a one-run eighth inning, Boston College baseball leapt back into action on Tuesday against Holy Cross. This time, it was the Eagles’ bats that could not be silenced when an early lead led to an eventual offensive onslaught and an 11-run blowout. 

The Eagles (17-21) took on the Crusaders (8-13) at home Tuesday evening for their second matchup of the season after BC beat Holy Cross 18-12 in March. Just like in that game, BC scored throughout the contest but found most of its success in the middle innings, and on Tuesday, BC took home a 13-2 win.

Joe Mancini started on the bump for BC, though he only pitched two innings while allowing a run on four hits and two walks. 

One of Mancini’s walks in the top of the first set the table for Holy Cross’ Evan Blum to step up to the plate with one out and a runner on first. He got a hold of a one-one pitch from Mancini and lofted a ball high into left-center. Had the ball dropped to the ground, the Crusaders likely would have had runners at the corners with just one out, but instead, Sal Frelick ran it down and made a leaping catch worthy of any highlight reel. 

Frelick’s catch was timely, as the top-prospect was just projected to go to the Kansas City Royals as the No. 7 overall pick in the first mock 2021 MLB draft. Frelick was hailed as a top player to watch at the beginning of the season, and he has since lived up to his potential, hitting .350 with a .969 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) on the season. 

A Holy Cross single put a runner in scoring position following Frelick’s catch, but Mancini quelled any chance of a first-inning rally, setting the Crusaders down with a strikeout. 

BC put the first points on the board in the bottom of the inning, but it was not until later in the night that the Eagles would start to put up crooked numbers. BC only recorded one hit in the first, but five different batters reached base by way of four walks, including one that scored the only BC run of the inning.

Holy Cross promptly responded in the next inning with a run on three hits, but Mancini once again came through with a clutch strikeout—this time with the bases loaded and the count full—to end the inning before the Crusaders could do any real damage. 

That was the last batter Mancini would face, however, as Joe Vetrano relieved him in the third. 

After a scoreless bottom of the second and top of the third, BC put itself back on the board in the top of the fourth. This time, Cody Morissette sparked the rally. After being hit by a pitch, Morissette stole second and advanced to third on a sacrifice fly. From there, all it took was a fielding error to give BC the lead. 

Morissette has excelled all season, but he had a particularly productive game on Tuesday. In five plate appearances, he recorded three hits, one hit by pitch, and three RBIs.

BC scored another run in the inning on a Vince Cimini triple, making the bottom of the third the first of four straight innings with multiple BC runs. 

The action in BC’s half of the fourth inning began when Parker Landwehr doubled to left field in his first at-bat of the night. Landwehr, like Morissette, had a standout game, recording three hits, a double, a home run, and four RBIs in just four at-bats. 

Brian Dempsey brought Landwehr home with a single, aided by a throwing error. Frelick and Dempsey also scored in the fourth inning for a 6-1 lead. 

The Eagles picked up right where they left off in the bottom of the fifth, starting the inning off with two walks and a Landwehr single to score a run and put runners on the corners, all without tallying a single out. 

A run and two outs later, Morissette walked back up to the plate. Down 0-1, he ripped a ball back up the middle to deep left-center field where it dropped and scored both BC baserunners, cracking double digits for the Eagles. 

Already up 10-1, all BC had left to do was add insurance runs, and the Eagles did just that in the bottom of the sixth. Cimini walked to once again give BC a free baserunner to start the inning, and he and Dante Baldelli both scored when Landwehr slaughtered a ball to deep left field.

Landwehr’s home run was all BC needed, and the Eagles’ scoring promptly ceased in the following two innings. Holy Cross scored on a triple in the seventh, but by then it was inconsequential. 

BC’s pitching was almost as impressive as its hitting on Tuesday evening. Vetrano received the win, lasting three innings while allowing just one hit. Max Gieg, Joey Ryan, Charlie Coon, and Joey Walsh all took turns in relief, each pitching an inning and collectively allowing just four hits.

Although BC did allow five walks, free passes did not plague the Eagles on Tuesday as they have in many games this season. Instead, walks helped BC, as Holy Cross pitchers walked nine BC batters and hit two. 

Featured Image Courtesy of BC Athletics

April 28, 2021