Sports, Spring, Baseball

Eagles Split Final Two Games of Series with No. 14 Wake Forest

In the bottom of the ninth inning of Boston College baseball’s matchup against No. 14 Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon, Cameron Leary stepped up to the plate with the game tied 4–4. 

With a 2–2 count, and no outs in the inning, Leary jumped on the pitch, which raced elevated over the plate, and smashed a walk-off home run deep over the hill in left field. The home run allowed the Eagles to complete an impressive comeback win after losing in blowout fashion the night prior. 

“It’s a really cool, personal moment for him that he gets to share with his teammates,” BC head coach Todd Interdonato said in reference to Leary’s walk-off. “And he’s fortunate he got to do it twice in one week.”

BC (19–16, 7–11 Atlantic Coast) managed to salvage Saturday’s game against Wake Forest (24–11, 9–9 Atlantic Coast) through great resilience, but split the weekend with a loss on Sunday that came as a result of poor pitching and hitting with runners in scoring position. 

The Eagles wore special Boston Marathon uniforms over the weekend to celebrate One Boston Day on Saturday, which honored the victims and first responders of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Over 800 spectators packed the ballpark to watch on both Saturday and Sunday.  

“We talk about being men and women for others,” Interdonato said regarding the Boston Marathon jerseys. “And this was a great idea that Greg [Sullivan] had a couple years ago to implement it here, so, proud to be a part of that.”

BC struck the first blow in the bottom of the first inning of Sunday’s game thanks to first baseman Kyle Wolff, who roped an RBI double off the left field wall, giving the Eagles an early 1–0 advantage. 

Soon after, Nick Wang singled to right field, and Vince Cimini worked a one-out walk to load the bases. However, that was all the Eagles could muster as Parker Landwehr hit a ground ball to third base, resulting in an inning-ending double play. 

The missed opportunity proved costly for BC, as the Demon Deacons responded immediately in the top of the second inning. Senior Marek Houston crushed a single to right field, driving in Javar Williams from second base and knotting the game at 1–1. 

Wake Forest’s offense continued to heat up in the following innings. Nick Kurtz obliterated a solo home run to straight away center field, and Williams followed with a single off of BC’s starting pitcher, A.J. Colarusso. 

In the bottom of the third inning, the Eagles loaded the bases with one out for the second time of the game. Once again, they failed to convert, leaving all three runners stranded. 

“We create opportunities and hopefully next time we cash in,” Interdonato said. 

Wake Forest loaded the bases themselves with no outs in the top of the fourth inning, but unlike BC, the Demon Deacons found a way to score. 

Jack Winnay skied a bloop single that fell between Wolff and Cam Caraher in right field, driving in Houston from third base. Jake Reinisch and Williams generated two more runs for the Demon Deacons in the inning through a sacrifice fly and fielder’s choice to break the game open 6–1.

Despite the offensive dominance exhibited by Wake Forest, the Eagles fought back in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases for the third time in four innings. This time around, Leary smoked a sacrifice fly to right field, cutting the deficit to four runs. 

BC’s pitching settled down from the fifth inning through the eighth, allowing no runs on just three hits. The Eagles offense, however, did not generate any real threat for the remainder of the game.  

“Just didn’t create enough opportunities down the stretch,” Interdonato said.

The Demon Deacons added the icing to the cake with a Cam Nelson sacrifice fly and a two run homer by Kurtz in the ninth inning to expand the lead to 9–2. BC scored one run in the bottom of the ninth and were ultimately defeated by the Demon Deacons 9–3.  

“We need to play better. We just need to play better,” Interdonato said. 

Saturday’s game between the two competitors contrasted sharply to Sunday’s. 

Wake Forest jumped on the board early with Kurtz crushing a triple to right field, driving in Houston to take a 1-0 lead. Soon after, with Kurtz advanced to third base, Winnay hit a sacrifice fly to provide the Demon Deacons a 2–0 lead. 

BC, on the other hand, struggled mightily with the bats, and were seemingly unable to hit anything off Wake Forest starter, Josh Hartle, who allowed four hits in 5.2 innings pitched. 

As the game entered the fourth inning, the Demon Deacons were looking for more. Nelson reached on a fielder’s choice, allowing Reinisch to score and increasing the lead to three runs. 

A Houston homerun in the seventh inning further showcased Wake Forest’s dominance, and gave them a 4–0 lead with only two and a half innings to play.

At that point, BC appeared to be dead in the water with no momentum. But the game was not over yet. 

Sam McNulty scorched a double down the left field line in the bottom of the seventh that drove in BC’s first run of the game. Slowly but surely, the Eagles seemed to gain their confidence back.

Leary hit an RBI single to left field, and Nick Wang crushed a single of his own that drove in two runs to even the score at 4–4. 

Leary’s walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth catapulted BC to a 5–4 upset victory over Wake Forest.  

April 14, 2024