Saturday was supposed to be a day of celebration for Boston College baseball fans. The school formally dedicated its new Brighton baseball and softball fields as the Harrington Athletic Village in honor of John L. Harrington ’57, who made the project possible through generous donations.
However, the celebration was spoiled when Wake Forest topped the Eagles to complete a three game sweep with a 6-1 win. BC had a season-high three game winning streak coming into the weekend, but it proved short-lived.
The series began on Friday, as the Eagles fell 3-0. Wake’s Griffin Roberts gave the Demon Deacons eight dominant innings on the mound with 11 strikeouts, giving up just one hit, which came off the bat of freshman Chris Galland in the first.
BC’s pitching held its own with five strong innings out of junior Jacob Stevens and several more in relief coming from juniors Thomas Lane, Sean Hughes, and Zach Stromberg. The lack of run support ended up giving Stevens his fifth loss of the season.
The two teams returned to the field for the back half of the double header later that night in the warm spring weather, but to the Eagles’ bats remained cold as the team fell once again, this time 2-0. Junior Dan Metzdorf got the call from Coach Gambino and delivered in his seven-inning outing, fanning nine hitters and giving up just two runs.
The Eagles repeated their struggles at the plate in this one as they were shut out for the second consecutive game. Galland was a bright spot once again as he went 2-4 at the plate and swiped a base.
Lane and Stromberg continued their solid work out of the bullpen, as they closed out the game with two scoreless innings. Morgan McSweeney picked up the win for Wake Forest in the pitching duel, and Metzdorf will have to wait until his next start to go for his first win of the season.
In the series finale, BC avoided being shut out for a third consecutive game, but still fell 6-1. The Eagles put together another putrid day at the plate, stringing together only three hits. Their sole run of the series came when Galland scored on sophomore Jack Cunningham’s single, which was misplayed by the opposing defender.
Galland’s steal marks his 25th of the season in as many tries, a number that leads the ACC. However, his eight-game hitting streak ended at the hands of Wake’s Colin Peluse who maintained his perfect record on the season with his sixth win.
Senior Brian Rapp gave the Eagles six solid innings in which he struck out four and gave up one earned run. The bullpen couldn’t maintain Friday’s stellar form though, and the Demon Deacons blew the game open in the 7th and 8th.
Joey Walsh got the call in relief to start the 7th, but was done quickly after seeing three batters, two of them reaching scoring position. Coach Gambino switched to Lane for the third time in two days hoping that he would stay hot, and Lane managed to escape the inning with only one run added to the board. However, signs of fatigue started to show in the 8th as Wake started to rack up base hits and scored a runner.
Gambino moved on to Hughes and Stromberg, who gave up two more runs on walks before ending the inning. BC failed to rally for the third game in a row and ended Saturday with their worst loss of the series.
Coach Mike Gambino knows BC has potential, but noted their shortcomings in his postgame presser.
“Our lineup can score a bunch of runs, our arms can hold good lineups at bay,” he said. “We just haven’t done it together.”
To win their upcoming series against Florida State and make a run at the ACC tournament, they will have to combine their offensive prowess from their winning streak with their strong pitching against Wake. Only time will tell if the Eagles can reach the potential Gambino alluded to.
Now sitting at 12-22 on the season, the Eagles will need to find solid footing this week against Rhode Island and Dartmouth before a massive clash against Florida State this weekend. On Saturday afternoon, the Eagles and Seminoles will meet at Fenway Park. The game is at 3 p.m. and will be featured on ESPNU.
Next up for the Eagles is a home game on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., against Rhode Island.
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