Sports, Spring, Baseball

No. 19 Virginia Downs BC In 17-Run Victory

After losing in extra innings one day earlier, Boston College baseball looked to get revenge on Saturday against No. 19 Virginia, whose starting lineup featured six players returning from last year’s College World Series team. 

Despite holding the Cavaliers (18–1, 4–1 Atlantic Coast) to fewer than 10 runs at home for the first time all season on Friday, BC’s bats couldn’t keep pace with Virginia’s on Saturday, and the Eagles fell 18–1. With the win, Virginia passed Tennessee to become the nation’s highest-ranked scoring offense, leading the NCAA in runs scored with 220.

The first inning passed with no scoring. BC starter Sean Hard navigated out of a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the inning without allowing a run. Virginia’s starter, Brian Gursky, turned in his second inning scoreless as well, as BC’s 5–7 hitters went down in order.

The Cavaliers broke the game open in the bottom of the second, scoring eight runs—and Virginia didn’t look back after that. Virginia’s right fielder Casey Saucke began the inning with a leadoff walk and scored from first on a double from Ethan Anderson. Max Cotier walked, then Griff O’Farrall reached base on a throwing error from BC catcher Peter Burns. With O’Farrall on first, the bases were loaded for Virginia, setting the stage for catcher Kyle Teel, a member of USA Baseball’s preseason Golden Spikes award watch list.

Teel turned on a high fastball, hitting his third grand slam of the season and adding to his 10 RBIs in four bases-loaded at bats, bringing his total to 14. Devin Ortiz walked in the next at-bat, and then third baseman Jake Gelof homered, giving Virginia a 7–0 lead. By the end of the second, Virginia led 8-0, the last run coming on a fielding error that allowed Chris Newell to score.

With two outs in the top of the third, Eagles’ left fielder Travis Honeyman homered—his third of the series—to cut the deficit to 8–1. Cameron Leary singled up the middle, but the inning ended on a deep flyball to the opposite field from Luke Gold, and Honeyman’s homer ended up being the first and last time the Eagles would score.

Virginia homered three more times in the game, finishing the scoring on its second grand slam of the day, as Newell made the Virginia lead 18–1 in the bottom of the eighth. The Cavaliers ended the day with 16 hits and 18 runs and scored in four out of eight innings at the plate.

Gursky improved his record to 5–0 with the win. The Cavaliers’ pitching and defense has matched its ACC-best offense so far this season, posting a 2.05 ERA in 171 innings, also good for first in the ACC.

BC’s lineup consistently put the ball in play, with only 12 strikeouts in 32 at-bats, but Virginia’s defense kept the Eagles to one run, committing no defensive errors in the game.

Featured Image by Aditya Rao / Heights Staff

March 20, 2022