Just two days after allowing 12 runs against Georgia Tech in a program-defining win, No. 9 Boston College baseball allowed 12 runs again, only this time to UMass Amherst in the 32nd Baseball Beanpot on Tuesday. The Minutemen scored 10 runs in the first two innings alone to take a 10–2 lead.
But the Eagles (21–6, 8–4 Atlantic Coast) would not let UMass (4–16, 0–3 Atlantic 10) remain ahead for long, as BC used its five-run fifth inning and then a two-run eighth to propel it to a 13–12 victory at Earl Lorden Field in Amherst, Mass. in the Beanpot semifinal.
Despite the comeback effort, BC head coach Mike Gambino expressed his disappointment with BC’s effort against the Minutemen, who boast an RPI of 239.
“If I was a GIF I’d be somebody who was puking right now,” Gambino said. “I think we overstepped the line today. I told them last year there’s a fine line between having confidence and always believing you’re going to win, and getting too cocky to the point that you think you can just roll out there and beat teams.”
Closer Andrew Roman finished the game, coming in at the top of the eighth inning to throw 1.1 scoreless innings for his seventh save of the year, helping the Eagles earn their third straight win.
“He’s been our guy at the back of the game all year,” Gambino said. “I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t want to use him today … but you gotta worry about the game you’re in.”
Freshman pitcher A.J. Colarusso got the start for BC, his third this season. But he immediately registered an error, allowing UMass to get on base, marking the start of the onslaught of runs. The Minutemen made it 2–0 off a single and a bunt, but the real damage occurred when BC’s Daniel Baruch dropped a Carter Hanson fly ball in left field, allowing the third run to score and the bases to load.
Sam Hill laid down a sacrifice bunt for another run, and Hanson reached home on a wild pitch to give UMass a 5–0 cushion to end the inning.
BC’s offense showed life in the top of the second, as Sam McNulty pulled an RBI double, and Cohl Mercado followed with a single to right center to score McNulty and make it 5–2.
UMass kept the power coming in the bottom of the inning, with Justin Blumenthal ripping a single on the first pitch. Matthew Nunan replaced Colarusso, but quickly gave up two RBI singles that Nick Wang and Joe Vetrano couldn’t handle to put the Minutemen ahead 7–2.
Hanson put the exclamation point on the inning with a three-run homer that barely cleared the fence, reaching the bushes of the outfield and making it 10–2.
“I think we took a step backwards as a team today,” Gambino said. “And that’s what I told them after the game.”
Right-handed reliever Ian Murphy took the bump to start the top of the third inning, and proceeded to pitch two straight one-two-three innings. BC started to slowly crawl back, as McNulty continued his hot streak with a single in the top of the fourth inning to make him 6 of 8 on the year—he suffered an injury earlier in the season that kept him sidelined for a majority of BC’s opening series.
Barry Walsh, who came in to replace an injured Travis Honeyman, sent a fly ball to bring in a run, and Peter Burns walked to make it 10–4.
Walsh continued to put the ball in play, as he reached first base on an infield error in the top of the fifth inning to send Adonys Guzman home. Wang rocketed an RBI double to left field, and Burns scored Wang on an RBI single to bring BC within one run.
The Eagles added two more runs in the top of the sixth inning to take their first lead of the game at 11–10.
Pitching, however, became an issue as the game went on. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Joey Ryan came in to throw with a runner on third and one out. UMass’ Zack Zaetta swiftly knocked an RBI single to left field to tie the game at 11 apiece.
Right-hander Evan Moore started the top of the seventh inning for BC, but couldn’t protect the tie, as Steve Luttazi piped a solo home run to catapult the Minutemen back into the lead.
“I am not worried about our [pitching] staff long term,” Gambino said. “But I do think we have to execute a little bit better than we have the last couple of games.”
But after Baruch, McNulty, and Mercado reached base in the top of the eighth inning, Walsh sent a deep fly ball to right field to record his third RBI of the day, and Vetrano followed with an RBI of his own, handing BC a 13–12 lead. BC had 15 hits on the day.
Roman—who boasts the lowest ERA on BC’s roster—saved the bottom of the eighth inning with a man on third base, and allowed just two hits through 1.1 innings, keeping BC from avoiding a near disastrous loss and advancing the Eagles to the Beanpot final.
“I think it was our worst baseball game of the year,” Gambino said.