Boston College hitters mustered just seven hits against St. John's pitchers and the Red Storm broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning as they defeated the Eagles, 4-2, in a neutral site game on Wednesday night. The game took place at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, CT.
St. John's (24-14) got 4.1 strong innings from starter Alex Katz. He allowed just three hits and one run, which was unearned, while striking out two. The BC run came in the fifth and helped chase Katz from the game in favor of reliever Thomas Hackimer. Hackimer went the next 1.2 innings, earning the decision to improve to 1-0 on the year. He didn't allow a run and surrendered two hits while striking out three and walking one.
With pitching depth running thin after the weekend series with NC State and an early Monday matinee with Northeastern, freshman Justin Dunn got the call on the hill for the Eagles. In just his fifth apperance of the season, Dunn allowed six hits and two runs across the first three innings. He and a plethora of relievers, including Bobby Skogsbergh, Steve Green, and Tyler Hinchcliffe kept BC in the game as the Eagles rallied from down 2-0 to tie the game in the seventh.
St. John's got the game's first runs in the third inning. After Michael Donadio grounded to second to score lead runner Robert Wayman, Matt Harris hit a solo shot to right to give the Johnnies a 2-0 lead. BC would chip into that advantage with runs in the fifth and seventh. In the fifth, Gabriel Hernandez and Blake Butera walked to put runners on first and second with one out. A double steal moved them both into scoring position, and Hernandez scored when a throw home to catcher Tyler Sanchez resulted in a dropped E-2. The ball had been hit to third by Joe Cronin, and Hernandez took off for the plate on a run-on-contact play.
In the seventh, Hernandez and Butera again provided catalyst work by drawing a walk and HBP against reliever Shawn Heide. With two on and nobody out, St. John's went to their bullpen for Hackimer; he struck out Cronin, but while facing Chris Shaw delivered a passed ball that advanced the runners up a bag to second and third. Shaw grounded to third, and the Johnnies conceded the run as Hernandez scored on the second out.
Eric Stone came in for the eighth inning but was unable to pick up the hold for BC. Jarred Mederos led off with a single, but Stone retired the next two batters to push St. John's to the brink in the frame. But he issued a walk to Robbie Knightes and mishandled a ground ball to let the runner score. The grounder had gone back to the box off the bat of catcher Tyler Sanchez, and Stone threw it into the dirt at first. John Nicklas came into the game and ended the inning with a strikeout, but the Johnnies had taken the 3-2 lead.
They scored an insurance run in the top of the ninth after BC left the bases loaded in the eighth.
For BC, Hernandez had a 2-for-3 game, scoring both runs in similar fashion, and Butera extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Cronin and Shaw, though, went a combined 2-for-10, even though they did get the runs in from third. Michael Strem went 0-for-3, tallying a combined 2-for-13 day from the 3-4-5 hitters in the BC lineup.
The Red Storm got a big game from Mederos, who went 3-for-5 with a run scored. Alex Caruso and Robert Weyman each had two hits and Donadio combined with Matt Harris for two RBIs. All the unearned runs did not have RBI.
The Eagles will now play a charity softball game against local military veterans as an act of goodwill on Thursday before taking on Maryland this weekend as part of the Wounded Warrior Project's Military Appreciation Weekend. The three-game series begins on Friday at 3:30 from Shea Field.