Sports, Spring, Baseball

Eagles Rely On Pitching Depth, Shutout Huskies 1–0

Common prerequisites to a baseball game include sun tans, frozen lemonade, and khaki shorts. But Northeast baseball challenges that status quo. In Boston College baseball’s local matchup with Northeastern on Tuesday, the temperatures hung around the 40s, and gusts of wind erupted in fits across the diamond. 

The low-scoring affair ended 1–0 in BC’s favor. But no, it’s not the score of a hockey game. It’s mid-March Birdball.

In the teams’ 165th all-time meeting, BC (8–11, 1–5 Atlantic Coast) defeated Northeastern for its second shutout victory of the year to bring the Huskies’ six-game win streak to a halt. In its last four games, Northeastern has posted 28 runs, and its roster has batted .304 overall, up from its previous mark of .210 in the previous four.

Northeastern (12–8–1) last played BC on March 19, 2019, when it topped the Eagles 4–2. 

Heading into the game, BC had lost three games in a row, falling to Virginia on the road in all three contests. Despite losing its last series, BC’s lineup has averaged 8.6 runs per game this season, and its offense got off to a hot start on Tuesday. 

With Travis Honeyman on first in the top of the first inning, Cameron Leary singled to right field, advancing Honeyman to third. With no outs, Luke Gold smothered a fastball that sailed to deep left field resulting in a flyout, but Honeyman trotted home to open the scoring. Not a single player touched home plate for the rest of the game. 

Huskies’ pitcher Eric Yost coupled a sliding breaking ball that reached velocities in the low eighties with a deceiving inner-plate fastball. Despite recording a loss, the sophomore tallied seven strikeouts. 

Eagles’ starter Max Gieg struggled in the bottom of the first inning, giving up two hits and hitting a batter, but he recovered and escaped scoreless. Northeastern’s leadoff hitter Jeff Costello started the rally with a chip to right field, and Luke Beckstein followed with a single down the third-base line. 

With runners on first and second, Gieg hit Corey DiLoreto in the cleanup position with an outside slider, and bases were loaded with one out. But the Eagles recovered, and catcher Peter Burns slung a chopped grounder from below the mound to first, recording the final out of the inning.

From there, the Eagles found stride in each one of their incoming pitchers. 

BC’s first pitching change came in the top of the fourth, with right hander Joey Ryan coming in relief for Gieg. Ryan pitched two innings, in which he held Northeastern to zero runs and zero hits. 

The final trio of BC relief pitchers, which included Julian Tonghini, Henry Leake, and Brendan Coffey, combined for zero earned runs, three hits, and five strikeouts, capping off BC’s win with a stat sheet with low numbers resembling that of a hockey game.

Featured Image by Aditya Rao / Heights Staff

March 23, 2022