Photo courtesy of John Quackenbos / Twitter

Birdball Offense Sputters, Eagles Fall to UConn

Just like the chilly New England weather, BC’s offense went cold Tuesday afternoon in Brighton. The Eagles mustered just two hits and two walks the entire game, falling prone to the first shutout since late February against Indiana. In the end, BC fell to UConn 4-0.

Following the loss, the Eagles now stand at 9-13 on the season, while the Huskies improve to 12-9. UConn has taken the last three games against BC and have a 61-41 all-time record against the Maroon and Gold.

From the very first inning, UConn’s junior starter Jeff Kersten was fully in control. The right-hander kept the Eagles’ bats quiet, despite yielding a lot of contact. Kersten struck out just two batters in his eight and two-thirds innings, but the four total baserunners that did reach proved to be less than threatening.

On the home side, sophomore Matt Gill gave the Eagles four strong innings, allowing four hits on 55 pitches. However, the Huskies got to BC’s bullpen in the fifth inning, breaking the scoreless tie with three straight singles. Right-hander Brendan Spagnuolo allowed both earned runs without recording a single out.

Three innings later, the Huskies added two more runs following a few walks, an errant throw to third base, and a sacrifice fly. In the bottom half of the ninth, BC failed to produce anything after a couple of walks, losing their second game in a row—this time 4-0.

Overall, the brisk weather seemed to take the pop out of both teams’ bats. All 11 UConn hits were singles, while BC’s Jake Palomaki and Gian Martellini were the only Eagles to find holes in the field. The two hits sets a new season low for BC’s offense.

Despite the offensive struggle, BC’s pitching staff continues to show promise. Scoreless appearances from Will Hesslink, Jack Hodgson, and Jack Nelson were all important for the Eagles, but a career high in innings pitched by junior lefty Zach Stromberg was the most impressive. The southpaw came in on relief with the bases loaded in the sixth inning but allowed only a single run, effectively thwarting any major Huskies rally.

The Eagles will look to rebound as they travel to Clemson for a three game series at the end of this week. The No. 12 Tigers are an impressive 19-6 this season and will be a formidable opponent for a team still trying to find consistency in the young season.

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