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Birds Drop Two, Then Shut Out Pitt

After dropping both games in a doubleheader on Saturday, Boston College baseball rebounded Sunday to snag a single with in the weekend's three-game series against Pittsburgh. Saturday's back-to-back losses did not deter the Eagles from powering through on Sunday, demonstrating the mental and physical agility of the team.

Saturday's doubleheader was due to a rescheduled game from Friday evening. The event was moved following an unorthodox snow shower.

In the first game on Saturday afternoon, BC fell to Pitt 9-4. The game was close until the fifth inning when the wheels fell off the wagon for the Eagles’ pitching staff, when they gave up five runs, creating a five-run deficit for BC. In total, Pitt tallied nine runs on only three hits, a feat which can be attributed to the combined 11 walks given up by the BC pitchers.

On offense, sophomore second baseman Brian Dempsey led the team with three hits in four at-bats. Sophomore Jack Cunningham went 1-for-5 and drove in two of the Eagles’ four runs in the game. Despite BC's 11 hits, they were not able to capitalize on potential scoring opportunities, coming up with only four runs and stranding 14 people on base.

Fans got some free baseball in the second game on Saturday, as the Eagles and Panthers went head-to-head for 13 innings. Although BC came up short 6-4, their effort exemplified the team's resilience, especially after losing the first game.

Junior Dan Metzdorf tossed eight innings, giving up only one run and striking out eight. In his last three starts, Metzdorf has logged 30 strikeouts.

Offensively, juniors Gian Martellini and Jake Alu combined for six of BC’s 10 hits. Alu carried the team in RBIs, scoring half of the Eagles’ four total runs. Both BC and Pitt struggled with strikeouts this game, with 13 and 12 strikeouts, respectively.

On Sunday, the Eagles finally came out strong to steal the potential sweep away from Pitt, winning 8-0. Senior Brian Rapp tossed a gem, the bats came alive, and BC looked comfortable out on their new field.

“He was great today,” said head coach Mike Gambino of Rapp. “But honestly, it was a combination of Rapp and Gian. His stuff was really good, but his command wasn’t unbelievable today…Gian kept him locked in and kept him going.”

Gian Martellini continued his offensive dominance, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Freshman Chris Galland continued to impress, going 2-for-3 on the day and improving his batting average to .343 on the season. In addition, Jake Palomaki belted his third home run of the year. Palomaki has now reached base safely 340 times, good for second in BC's all time record books.

Rapp, now a veteran on the BC pitching staff, threw for 6.2 innings, striking out eight and holding the Panthers to only one hit–which did not come until the seventh inning. Despite walking six batters, Rapp maintained control of the game, allowing him to dominate on the mound.

Junior Thomas Lane relieved Rapp in the seventh inning; he didn't surrender any hits through eight batters faced and allowed only one walk.

“We play not to fail and not to make a mistake,” said Gambino regarding Sunday's performance. “Today they just played baseball…today was a fun team to watch. That’s more what we’re capable of.”

BC will take on UMass on April 10 at 3 p.m. in the Beanpot consolation game.

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