Boston College hitters left nine men on base, including three in the eighth, as the Nevada Wolfpack picked up the win in the season opening game on Friday night, 4-1. It was the third time in the last four years BC lost their first game of the season.
The Birdballers, listed as the host team for the game despite the neutral ground in California, scored first blood in the bottom of the second when they manufactured a run on just one hit. John Hennessy walked to start off the frame, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Geoffrey Murphy then singled to center, putting runners at the corners for Logan Hoggarth. Hennessy scored, but Murphy ran into the third out after he crossed the plate, ending the inning with a 1-0 score.
It remained that way for approximately three batters. Senior starting pitcher Eric Stevens surrendered a leadoff double in the top of the third, then hit the next hitter to put runners on first and second. That's when Austin Byler hit a double that scored the tying run. Byler would later cross the dish on on a groundout to put the Wolfpack up 2-1.
BC kept it close by not surrendering a run until Nevada tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the seventh. With two out, Justin Bridgman walked and scored when Kewby Meyer blasted an RBI triple. Meyer would score when Byler singled him home before BC recorded the final out of the frame.
BC loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth but couldn't convert. After Tom Bourdon grounded out, Blake Butera knocked an infield single to short. He advanced to second when Hennessy singled to left. Murphy was beaned after Chris Shaw popped to third to induce an infield fly rule, but Hoggarth flied out to center to end the threat. BC went down in order in the ninth, ending the game when Joe Cronin struck out looking.
On the bump, Stevens looked improved but failed to pick up his first win in two years, absorbing the loss despite going six strong. He surrendered just five hits but gave up two runs and struck out two in addition to walking one. He induced half of his outs via grounder.
Stevens gave way to Tyler Hinchcliffe, who gave up two runs on two hits in the seventh inning, walking two and striking out one. Redshirt freshman Luke Fernandes threw the final six outs for the Eagles, getting five batters to fly out.
For Nevada, Barry Timko got tabbed for the start, and he picked up the win by throwing 5.2 innings with four K's and two walks. Jason Dietrich threw 3.1 innings in relief to pick up the three-plus inning save, allowing three hits and striking out two while not allowing a run. It was the debut game for Wolfpack head coach Jay Johnson after spending eight years as the associate head coach at San Diego.
BC heads into its double-header tomorrow, opening up the day against Santa Clara before playing the Wolfpack at night. Andrew Chin will get the start in the first game, while sophomore righty Jeff Burke is expected to get the tab for the nightcap.
See below for the postgame remarks from head coach Mike Gambino:
Gambino After Season Opener (via Bird Ball)