Sports, Spring, Baseball

Eagles Earn Fourth Series Win With Program-Best 24 ACC Runs Against Georgia Tech

In 11 seasons at the helm of the program, Boston College baseball head coach Mike Gambino has only seen BC reach at least 22 runs in a game once. On Sunday, in his 12th season, he got to witness it again. 

After losing the first leg of a three-game series against Georgia Tech on Friday, No. 14 BC (20–6, 8–4 Atlantic Coast) responded with vengeance in games two and three—notching a 24–12 victory over the Yellow Jackets (17–11, 6–6) on Sunday and a 3–1 victory on Saturday. The Eagles showcased their bat strength in the latter contest, and their best pitcher combo—Chris Flynn and Andrew Roman—in the former contest. 

BC’s win on Sunday marked its fourth straight ACC series win of the season—it’s the first time the Eagles have won their first four ACC series since they joined the conference in 2006—and pushed the Eagles to their fastest 20-win start in program history. BC has yet to lose a series in 2023, and its 24 runs on Sunday marked the most scored since March 24, 2015. 

“When things go wrong, you’re going to have your initial reaction stimulated,” Gambino said. “Once that happens, regroup and figure out a way to respond. And they’ve been doing that all year.”

The Eagles rolled out with starting pitcher John West for Sunday’s game. West has struggled this season with a 7.43 ERA. He started off a bit rocky, giving up an early three-run home run to Georgia Tech’s Angelo Dispigna. 

Despite being down 3–0, BC responded in the bottom of the first inning with a Patrick Roche three-run home run to left field. Roche finished the game with four RBIs, continuing his strong season.

“He consistently gives us creative at-bats and he’s one of those guys who just has a knack for driving in runs, situational at-bats, big two out hits,” Gambino said. 

After the early hiccup, West settled in and pitched two scoreless innings in the second and third inning to keep the game knotted at three. BC managed to gain its first lead of the game in the bottom of the third inning when Nick Wang blasted a two-run home run to give the Eagles a 5–3 cushion. 

But Georgia Tech remained steady, scoring its fourth run of the game off John Giesler’s home run to cut BC’s lead to one in the top of the fourth inning.

No more runs were scored until the Eagles’ offense really picked up in the seventh inning, as Peter Burns, Travis Honeyman, Roche, Joe Vetrano, Daniel Baruch, and Cohl Mercado all recorded RBIs en route to seven runs scored. Georgia Tech’s pitching was out of sorts, as Baruch got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score BC’s 11th run of the game.

The Yellow Jackets, however, took BC’s punches and fought back with five runs of their own in the top of the eighth, as Jake DeLeo ripped a three-run home run to cut BC’s lead to five. RBIs from Stephen Reid and Dispigna closed the inning to make it 12–9. 

In the bottom of the eighth inning, BC delivered the final blow, which proved to be too much for Georgia Tech. The Eagles exploded for 12 runs, starting with Cameron Leary sending a three-run home run into right field.  

Honeyman, Mercado, Baruch, Sam McNulty, Vetrano, and Wang all recorded RBIs in the inning, expanding BC’s lead to 24–9. Georgia Tech’s three runs in the top of the ninth inning wasn’t nearly enough, and the Eagles walked away with a series win and their most-ever runs scored in an ACC game. 

Saturday’s game was vastly different from Sunday’s, as BC showed off their pitching and defensive expertise in a low-scoring, 3–1 victory against the Yellow Jackets.

Flynn started the game for BC and continued to display why he is one of the ACC’s top-tier pitchers with his 1.76 ERA. Flynn threw six total innings, recording nine strikeouts while allowing only one run. 

“It’s good stuff,” Gambino said. “It’s really good carrying of the fastball. It’s a curveball, it’s a cutter. But it’s toughness, it’s competitiveness, it’s composure, it’s pitch ability. … Even more than the stuff, it’s those things that makes him really special.”

The Eagles were quiet offensively but came up with big hits when it mattered most. Vince Cimini opened up the scoring for the Eagles with a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the third inning to give BC a 1–0 lead. 

Honeyman added to the Eagles’ tally with a two-run home run to left field in the fifth inning, giving BC a 3–0 lead. The only blemish on Flynn’s performance was the concession of an RBI double to Georgia Tech’s Nicholas Romano in the sixth inning, which cut BC’s lead to 3–1. 

Joey Ryan and Roman followed up Flynn’s performance with three innings of scoreless relief pitching of their own, allowing only two hits. 

“If you look from top to bottom, it’s a different person every game,” Gambino said. “And same thing on the mound, you got guys picking each other up and it’s just a very good feel.”

April 2, 2023