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Boston College 2, Rhode Island 1: Base Running Capitalizes On Miscues In Win

When you only have four hits on the day, you've got to get creative on scoring runs.

Evan Pike-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston College Eagles traveled from Chestnut Hill to Kingston, Rhode Island for a baseball game. Unfortunately, their bats, which were electrically charged over the weekend, didn't exactly go with them.

BC mustered only four hits in nine innings against five URI Ram pitchers. But thanks to some deceptive and heads up base running, the Eagles defeated the host team, 2-1, to earn their 24th victory of the season.

Scoreless through two innings, the Eagles got on the board to break the tie game in the top of the third. With one out, starting pitcher Evan Flanagan walked Jake Palomaki, who moved up to second on a failed pickoff attempt for an error. A walk to Nick Sciortino created a force play, but a wild pitch from Flanagan facing Michael Strem moved the runners up one base apiece. But before the play was stopped, Palomaki noticed that nobody was covering the plate and took off. He scored, making it 1-0.

It would stay that way until the sixth when URI tied it up. Ryan Olmo crushed the first pitch he saw to left field for a double, advancing to third when Brett McManus grounded out. After BC reliever Brian Rapp came back with a strikeout, Derek Gardella doubled down the third base line, scoring Olmo to tie things up at 1-1.

The lead would last three batters. After Logan Hoggarth grounded out to start the top of the seventh, things unraveled defensively for the Rams. Andrew Veiga came onto pitch, inducing a fly ball to left off the bat of Mitch Bigras. Left fielder Sam Ilario got under it, but the ball popped out of his glove. As a result, Bigras wound up on third instead of becoming the second out. As Scott Braren walked, a wild pitch brought Bigras home, giving the Eagles their 2-1 lead.

The two miscues for URI ultimately cost them the game as BC wouldn't score again. Meanwhile, the Eagle pitching was outstanding, surrendering nary a base runner in the final three innings. John Nicklas pitched a perfect sevent, recording one strikeout, before handing the ball to John Witkowski. He promptly went 1-2-3 in the eighth with two strikeouts before Bobby Skogsbergh continued upping the ante by striking out the side in the ninth for his second save of the year.

Zack Stromberg started for BC, throwing two innings and allowing only three hits with two walks and a strikeout. He gave way to Brian Rapp, who gave the Eagles four innings of dominant performance, allowing just the one run on two hits. Rapp struck out seven and didn't walk anyone on 49 pitches - only six more than Stromberg threw in two innings of work. He also earned the victory, his first of the season (1-1).

For URI, Flanagan wound up going four innings, giving up one run on two hits with three K's and three walks. Dom Grillo pitched the fifth for the Rams, retiring the Eagles in order with two strikeouts, before Blaise Whitman went 1.1 innings of work with two hits allowed.

Veiga lasted only one out, charged with the run that was unearned that won the game for BC. As a result, he shouldered the loss (1-2). Nick Johnson pitched the final 2.1 innings for the Rams.

It was a very nondecript day at the plate for both teams, who combined for only nine hits. Two of URI's hits were the two doubles that scored their run in the sixth.

BC returns home tomorrow to take on Northeastern at the Birdcage after the one-game road trip. First pitch is at 3 PM.