Sports, Spring, Baseball

Eagles Hit Season-High Three Home Runs, Defeat Bucknell 9–1

Boston College baseball opened up its 2023 in rough fashion, falling to Pepperdine 9–0 while recording only three hits.

But since then, the Eagles (3–1) have outscored their opponents 30–7 in their last three games. That streak includes BC’s Friday win over Bucknell (0–4) in Charleston, S.C., in which BC defeated the Bison 9–1 behind a season-high three home runs and six two-out runs. The win marked the Eagles’ third straight victory. 

While BC’s offense is averaging 10 runs per game over its last three games, its pitching was also a strong suit on Friday. Henry Leake bounced back from his opening-day loss, throwing three shutout innings with 5 strikeouts against the Bison. The graduate right-handed pitcher allowed just one hit but walked three batters and hit one batter.

Junior first baseman Joe Vetrano got things started off early with an opposite field two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. He kept things going in the third inning on a dropped pop fly by the Bison with two outs, which allowed Cohl Mercado to score to put BC up 3–0. Patrick Roche immediately capitalized on Bucknell’s mistake, as he sent a double into left field, scoring Vetrano to give the Eagles a four-run lead.

Right-hander John West replaced Leake in the fourth inning and earned the win with four innings pitched, one earned run, and 6 strikeouts. Bucknell’s only run came in the fifth inning off a Jacob Corson home run bomb to center field to cut the Eagles lead to 4–1.

But BC didn’t let up another run all game, as pitchers A.J. Colarusso and Joey Ryan both pitched one inning to close out the eighth and ninth. Overall, the Eagles held the Bison to just four hits. Their six walks Friday, however, was a season high.

Barry Walsh continued his strong start to the season with a three-run home run in the sixth inning with two outs, which extended the Eagles’ lead to 7–1. The home run marked Walsh’s second home run and seventh RBI of the year.

The Eagles tacked on two more runs in the eighth inning thanks to catcher Peter Burns and Vetrano. Burns slapped a solo home run to right field to kick off the inning, putting BC ahead 8–1. Walsh followed with a single to left field, and the outfielder subsequently stole second. Vetrano managed to strike a single to the right side with two outs to send Walsh home and hand the Eagles a comfortable victory.

BC’s .294 batting average was the second highest the Eagles have hit all season.

February 25, 2023