Sports, Spring, Baseball

Hokies Sweep Weekend Series Against Eagles

While struggles on the mound are an ongoing struggle for Boston College baseball this season—its pitching staff sits last in the ACC in team ERA—the Eagles’ weekend series against Virginia Tech told a different story. This time, BC’s bats failed to support its pitchers, who held their own on the mound throughout the weekend’s three games. 

The offense continued its cold streak on Sunday, as BC (15–25, 3–18 Atlantic Coast) fell to the Hokies 6–4 in the Eagles’ seventh consecutive loss. It marked BC’s third loss to Virginia Tech (28–9, 12–7) in the weekend series. 

“Seasons ebb and flow,” BC head coach Mike Gambino said after the game. “And we’re just in one of those [slumps].” 

BC starter Eric Schroeder logged a clean opening frame while striking out a pair of batters. The Eagles’ offense put a runner in scoring position in both of the first two innings but could not capitalize. 

Schroeder did not allow a base runner until the third inning, when he issued a leadoff walk to Sam Tackett. A passed ball, wild pitch, and sacrifice fly later, Tackett scored the Hokies’ first run of the game, all without recording a hit. Schroeder escaped the inning without any further damage.  

“[Schroeder] mixed his pitches, walked a couple guys, and pitched around them,” Gambino said. “He’s executing pitches when he needed to. I thought he threw the ball great.” 

Consecutive singles in the fourth inning created a prime opportunity for BC to match Virginia Tech’s run. With Parker Landwehr at the plate, the Eagles put their first run on the board after a botched double play attempt scored Luke Gold. Though Landwehr remained on second base, BC left him stranded—one of five runners the Eagles left on base throughout the game. 

After John West sat down the first two batters he saw in the fifth inning, Nick Biddison notched a two-out single, and West walked the next batter. Tanner Schobel took advantage of the two-on, two-out situation with a deep double down the left-field line that plated two. 

The Eagles responded again in the bottom of the inning with a Travis Honeyman RBI single. With its second run of the game, BC had already eclipsed its combined run total from the series’ previous two games

A walk later, Joe Vetrano stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded. Swinging at the first pitch he saw, Vetrano grounded into a double play. After a review, however, the umpires ruled Vetrano safe at first base, scoring Cameron Leary and tying the game up at three runs apiece. 

Pitching controlled the following innings until Virginia Tech’s Christian Martin opened the seventh inning with a single. Despite recording two straight outs, a walk and a passed ball set up a second-and-third scenario. With the game on the line, Gambino turned to right-hander Sean Hard.

But Hard loaded the bases after walking Jack Hurley, sending Virginia Tech slugger Cade Hunter to the plate. Hunter smashed a pitch into deep right field off the base of the wall, clearing the bases and effectively ending the Eagles’ hopes of avoiding a series sweep.

“We like [Hard] as a better matchup, stuff-wise, in that scenario,” Gambino said. “Especially his off-speed stuff. … He actually executed a pretty good pitch. He just leaked it over the middle a touch.”

BC added another run via a Landwehr solo home run but failed to complete a comeback. 

Aside from its seventh-inning troubles, the Eagles’ pitching staff turned in another consistent performance—a sign of progress, according to Gambino. 

“I’m really proud of the staff and what [pitching coach Kevin Vance] has been doing—continue to get these guys better and develop them,” Gambino said. “Because you’ve seen huge, huge improvements.”

April 24, 2022