With temperatures in the low 30s all afternoon, it was a chilly day for baseball in Storrs, Conn. on Tuesday. Despite the cold, Boston College baseball secured its first ranked win of the season with a 5–3 victory over No. 25 Connecticut.
The last time the Eagles (10–14, 1–8 Atlantic Coast) played UConn, the Huskies won 12–0. Tuesday’s game, however, was a chance for redemption for the Eagles, and BC’s win marks the Huskies’ first home loss of the season.
UConn (17–6, 0–0) came out stronger on offense than BC did early on, and the Huskies scored their first run in the bottom of the first. UConn’s one-run lead held until the top of the third inning, when Luke Gold batted in a double that sent Cameron Leary home to tie the game at 1–1.
It was a back-and-forth game for the next couple of innings. BC went up 2–1 in the fourth after Sam McNulty singled to first, scoring Patrick Roche. Then Connecticut tied it at 2–2 with a home run from Ben Huber in the bottom of the fourth. A home run from Leary gave the Eagles back their lead in the fifth, and they kept the lead for the rest of the game. It was Leary’s ninth home run of the season.
Defensively, the Eagles executed at critical moments. A diving catch from BC’s Daniel Baruch in the first inning prevented leadoff hitter Zach Bushling’s line drive from getting through the gap and UConn from putting players on base. The fourth inning ended with a 6-4-3 double play from McNulty, Gold, and Joe Vetrano with two men on base. The Eagles only recorded one error all game.
The Eagles secured their win in the seventh. Garrett Coe walked Gold, then Vetrano hit his seventh homer of the season, adding two more runs to the Eagles’ lead. UConn scored a run in the eighth, cutting its deficit to two, but the Huskies failed to close the gap further.
Solid pitching from the Eagles helped keep the Huskies’ offense limited. Freshman Julian Tonghini made his first career start and recorded his longest appearance, pitching three innings. He allowed one hit and one run, facing just 11 batters in the stretch.
Graduate student Henry Leake earned the win after recording three strikeouts in three innings and allowing only one hit with no runs. Sophomore Joey Ryan, who pitched the last two innings, was awarded the save for maintaining the Eagles’ lead and ensuring the win.
Featured Image by Caroline Cannon / For the Heights