Boston College softball’s Darien McDonough stepped up to the plate in the top of the first with one out on Feb. 11. In her first collegiate at-bat, she knocked in a two-run homer.
Fast forward two weeks, and it was BC baseball shortstop Sam McNulty’s turn. As the freshman walked into the box, all it took was one pitch, and McNulty fired a two-run homer over the scoreboard in the first swing of his collegiate career.
McNulty’s rocket put BC (2–2) up 4–0 through two innings, and the Eagles—despite giving up six runs in the next two innings—scored three more to edge out Presbyterian 7–6.
BC dominated the first two innings, holding the Blue Hose (2–3) scoreless. Before McNulty’s homer, Joe Vetrano recorded a home run of his own. After Luke Gold singled to right in the at-bat prior, Vetrano’s homer brought in two runs.
Vetrano went 4-for-5 on the game, recording three RBIs on his homer and one a single in the seventh inning, which proved to be the game winner for the Eagles.
After Vetrano and McNulty got the Eagles out to an early lead in the first two innings, Presbyterian started to take control. In the bottom of the third, with two men on base, Jack Gorman reached on a fielder’s choice, advancing Sean Klein and Jay Wetherington to second and third. A throwing error by pitcher Joe Mancini then sent Klein and Wetherington to home and third, respectively, putting the Blue Hose on the board.
Presbyterian scored two more in the third, cutting the Eagles’ lead to one.
In the top of the fourth, BC’s Cameron Leary singled to left, scoring freshman Patrick Roche. Friday’s game was also Roche’s collegiate debut, and the third baseman reached base twice in the game, once on a throwing error and a single in the fourth.
Though Leary’s single put BC back up by two, the Blue Hose fought back, scoring another three runs in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Mancini walked two consecutive batters before hitting Klein with a pitch on the next at-bat to load the bases. He then walked Wetherington, which sent Chris Veach home.
Gorman then flied out to right, but Chase Hughes scored. Brody Fahr singled in the next at-bat, scoring Hughes and putting Presbyterian up 6–5 for its first lead of the game.
The Eagles responded in the fifth to tie the game at six. Vetrano doubled to open the inning and advanced to third and home on consecutive groundouts. In the seventh, Vetrano again came up big for BC, scoring Leary to seal the deal for the Eagles.
BC’s Julian Tonghini and Henry Leake each pitched 1.2 innings to close out the game, with Tonghini coming in relief with two outs in the sixth, and Leake replacing him with one out in the eighth. Tonghini earned the win, while Leake secured the save.
With the win, BC defeated a Presbyterian team that made it to the 2021 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship after capturing the Big South title.
Featured Image by Aditya Rao / Heights Staff