Sports, Spring, Baseball

Eagles Come Away With Tight 12–10 Win Over California

It wasn’t Kyle Wolff’s first inning RBI that decided the game. It wasn’t Wolf’s two-run homerun in the second inning to put the Eagles up 5-0 either. It wasn’t even Nick Wang’s timely two-run bomb past left field in the top of the 7th inning, which were ultimately the game-winning runs. 

“You look at that game and it’s 12–10—you think it’s offensive. But if we don’t play as clean defensively as we do, it’s a different ball game,” Interdonato said. 

According to BC head coach Todd Interdonato, it was the defense that ultimately swayed the game, leading the Eagles (2–1) to a 12–10 victory over California (2–1) on Sunday night in the last game of the MLB Desert Invitational. 

“You think about the play Barry [Walsh] made in center, the play [Vince Cimini] made going up the middle to step on the bag, the play Vin made going to the four-hole, the play Sam McNulty made in the six hole throwing to third base—you know, just a really good plus defensive day from everybody,” Interdonato said. 

Up by one run and facing a California team riding momentum in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Eagles made a key defensive stop to help seal the game. 

Cimini rushed towards a ball that popped over BC pitcher Charlie Coon, fielded it, and tagged California’s Rodney Green Jr. near second base. 

Had the tag not been made, the Golden Bears would have been able to take advantage of their loaded bases and potentially take the lead. But California never got the lead, or even tied the game. 

A timely double play in the bottom of the fourth inning saved the Eagles from loaded bases and kept the Golden Bears scoreless. In the bottom of the seventh, a diving outfield catch by Walsh saved a Golden Bears’ run. A leaping grab by Cimini and subsequent seated throw out to first prevented a runner from getting on base.

These defensive plays were critical for the Eagles to grab a win in a game where hits were common, and scoreless innings were not. 

The Eagles’ quick start—they tallied three runs in the first inning—established an aggressive and focused tone that helped carry the Eagles through the match. 

“We talked about beating their best guy, who was their starting pitcher,” Interdonato said. “I felt like our guys came out extremely focused, and obviously put up five in the first two innings, and got that guy out of the game.”

Getting Cal’s starting pitcher [Andres Galan] off the mound was critical to BC’s continued offensive showing, according to Interdonato. 

“Being able to get into their bullpen allowed us to continue to add on, which was obviously very important,” Interdonato said.

The game got tight near the end, and was separated by only one run after the sixth inning, during which California picked up five runs to trail the Eagles 8–7. 

The Eagles fought through the close game, however, and tallied four runs in the top of the seventh thanks to double RBIs from Walsh and Nick Wang. 

“You set out expectations at the beginning of the year, and you just know nothings going to be easy, and being able to come up and make plays and execute at bats and execute pitches in those tight games—again, that’s what it’s going to take,” Interdonato said. 

Down the stretch, several key players provided BC with the spark necessary to gain a victory. 

Among them was starting Eagles’ pitcher Michael Farinelli, a transfer from Northwestern who made his BC debut on Sunday night. His debut featured seven strikeouts, two hits allowed, and four scoreless innings. 

“He was really good,” Interdonato said. “The great thing about Michael is he’s just such a calm personality… he just came out and executed.” 

Offensively, no one stood out for the Eagles more than Wolff, who had three hits in six at-bats, tallied four RBIs, and hit a two-run homer. 

“He was really our best hitter in the pre-spring, so we just had a lot of confidence in him,” Interdonato said. “Being able to have him in those situations, and him being able to come through, just really good, just really proud of him.”

In a season where expectations are sky-high for BC baseball, Interdonato emphasized the importance of executing in close games. 

“You have to embrace the sketchy,” Interdonato said.

February 19, 2024