As MLB ponders new rules and regulations aimed at speeding up baseball’s pace of play, Boston College baseball’s matchup against Wake Forest served as a timely reminder for why discussions about such changes continue to take place. Saturday afternoon’s game clocked in at just over four hours—a marathon made worse by its lopsided nature.
The Demon Deacons (21–6, 6–5 Atlantic Coast) immediately pummeled BC starter Sean Hard, putting six runs on the board before the Eagles even had a chance to hit. After its explosive first inning, Wake Forest cruised to a 20–8 victory.
“[Hard] just didn’t have command of his stuff,” head coach Mike Gambino said after the game. “It was big misses with his fastball and you can’t do that. … You got to have command of your stuff, and he didn’t.”
After Hard walked Brock Wilken in the first inning, a wild pitch advanced Wilken to second. In the next at-bat, Michael Turconi slipped a ground ball between first baseman Joe Vetrano’s outstretched glove and the first-base foul line, driving in Wilken for Wake Forest’s first run.
From there, the damage compounded.
Jake Reinisch launched a double that ricocheted off the right field wall and scored two more runs. Two at-bats later, Danny Corona hit a fly ball that eluded center fielder Barry Walsh’s dive, resulting in an RBI triple. After throwing 40 pitches, Hard finally ended the inning by striking out Tommy Hawke.
Wake Forest’s offensive domination continued into the second inning, as Wilken hit a two-run home run that extended the Demon Deacons’ lead to 8–1.
BC’s offense remained unfazed. Rafe Chaumette—who scored the Eagles’ first run of the game with a solo homer in the first inning— stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the second with the bases loaded. The Demon Deacons’ starter Seth Keener had hit three batters with a pitch, forcing Wake Forest head coach Tom Walter to pull him in favor of Gabe Golob.
Facing Golob with the bases full, Chaumette cashed in with a two-run double. BC tacked on another run later in the inning on a sacrifice fly from Cameron Leary making the score 8–4.
With the deficit more manageable, Gambino turned the ball over to Evan Moore, who cruised through the third inning. But a hand injury to catcher Peter Burns instead dampened the Eagles’ hopes of a comeback.
“[Burns] is, in a lot of ways, the heart and soul of a lot of things we do,” Gambino said. “Obviously, [his injury] affects your lineup, because you go to nine man [in] baseball. … We’re so thin all of a sudden. … You just sort of worry about running out of position players.”
Following Parker Landwehr’s substitution at catcher, the Demon Deacons exploded for nine runs over the next three innings—enough to crush BC’s comeback bid for good.
Despite the blowout loss, Gambino said he was happy with the Eagles’ offensive performance.
“I thought we had great at-bats,” he said. “I mean, the last couple of innings are the last couple of innings, but we had great at-bats and chances all the way through.”
Wake Forest feasted on the Eagles’ pitching all game, recording 22 hits. Every BC pitcher allowed at least one earned run. For the fourth time in the last week, Eagles’ pitching allowed double-digit runs, and Saturday’s 20 runs allowed was a season high for BC.
“I hate to say it, but the answer is simple—we got to execute better on the mound,” Gambino said. “And the finger should always be pointed at me first.”
Featured Image by Steve Mooney / Heights Editor