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No. 12 Clemson Hands Birdball First Sweep

After a solid conference start against UVA and Virginia Tech, Boston College baseball took a step back this weekend against No.12 Clemson. The Tigers swept the series by a combined score of 27-9.

After sweeping the Eagles on Saturday, the Tigers have now won 12 of their last 13 series.

On Thursday, the Tigers jumped out to an early lead and never let go, winning 10-2. RHP Jacob Stevens ran into trouble early, loading the bases twice in the first and second inning. Clemson
capitalized, scoring three in the first and then adding two more in the second.

The Eagles would score off an error in the second with the speed of freshman Chris Galland and a couple singles from Scott Braren and Brian Dempsey in the ninth.

Birdball generated more offense in their 9-4 loss Friday night, with Braren and Anthony Maselli picking up their first home runs of the season. Gian Martellini went 3-4 and Dempsey continued his hot streak at the plate, recording a hit for the 17th time in the Eagles' last 24 games.

Starting pitcher Dan Metzdorf settled down after a rough first inning, giving up 4 runs in 4.2 innings
pitched and racking up 9 K’s. A couple errors in the sixth inning gave momentum back to the Tigers as they extended their lead to as large as seven.

Metzdorf now has 22 strikeouts in his last two outings, including his 13-strikeout performance against Virginia Tech on March 24th.

The Eagles couldn’t limit the Tigers at the plate during the series finale, as they picked up another 8 runs on Saturday in an 8-3 win. Martellini continued his strong play on both sides of the field, throwing out an ACC-leading 11th baserunner while recording his fourth hit of the series.

Dante Baldelli and Dempsey knocked in the only three runs. BC held its first lead of the series in the fifth inning, but senior RHP Brian Rapp couldn’t hold it down, giving up three runs after a couple of Clemson hits.

Though the rotation of Stevens-Metzdorf-Rapp has been steady for the Eagles this season, they
are still seeking some consistency from their pitching staff. They allowed 27 runs on 28 hits against Clemson. The defense also struggled with five errors.

“That’s one of the best teams to play in the country. They’re going to take advantage of every
mistake,” said Head Coach Mike Gambino.“We handed them some runs this weekend and that Clemson team is too good to give them anything.”

Birdball sits at 9-16 at the midway point of the season and look to break their five-game losing streak against Harvard on Tuesday, April 3. Following that game, the Eagles will head back to Brighton for a 13-game home stand that includes ACC rivals Pitt, Wake Forest, and Florida State.

“We’re back home for a while,” Gambino said. “The boys are going to be looking forward to being home and sleeping in their own beds.”

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Matt DeMerlis