What was originally slated to be a three-game series with the visiting Quinnipiac Bobcats turned into a simple doubleheader on Saturday afternoon due to heavy rain in Boston on Sunday. Nevertheless, the Boston College baseball team was up to the challenge and swept Quinnipiac in the twin-billing on Saturday by scores of 5-1 and 3-0.
In game one, Jacob Stevens, Dan Metzdorf, and Donovan Casey combined to hold the Bobcats to one run on three hits, while striking out 11. Metzdorf was supposed to start game two of the doubleheader, but with Sunday’s weather forecast looming and his desire to get all three weekend starters innings on the mound before the Notre Dame series, Head Coach Mike Gambino put the sophomore on the mound in relief of Stevens and bumped Brian Rapp up to game two on Saturday. Quinnipiac jumped out to a 1-0 in the top of the first, but BC quickly answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame, and would go on to add four more throughout the game on homeruns from Gian Martellini, Mitch Bigras, and Johnny Adams, en route to the 5-1 win. Junior Jake Palomaki also led off the game with his 115th career walk, moving him into sole possession of first place in career walks in the Boston College record book.
In game two, starter Brian Rapp continued the dominance he has shown in the last month of the season, working five shutout innings, while allowing only a single hit and tied a career-high eight strikeouts. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth when Palomaki plated Anthony Maselli from third on a perfectly placed bunt, making the score 1-0 in favor of the Eagles. BC would add another run in the seventh after Donovan Casey doubled down the leftfield line and moved to third on a passed ball. He was then plated when Michael Strem hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield. The Eagles ended the game’s scoring an inning later when Jake Alu walked and moved to third on a passed ball and ground out, and was brought home when Mitch Bigras hit a grounder to second base, giving BC the 3-0 advantage and the win. Gian Martellini was 2 for 4 in game two, extending his current hitting streak to a career- high 14 games.
It is unfortunate that the series finale was cancelled due to rain, as the loss of that game guarantees that, with only four games remaining, even if BC were to win-out, they would still finish one game under .500 for the regular season at 25-26. While that is a shame, the Eagles goal of making the ACC Tournament is still very much alive, as two teams BC is battling for a spot in the postseason, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh, have struggled this weekend and are currently losing their respective series finales. Pitt lost the first two games of its home series against NC State and are currently losing to the Wolfpack 11-3 in the fifth inning of game three. Virginia Tech split the first two games of its home series against UNC and are currently losing to the Tar Heels 5-0 in the sixth inning of their series finale. If those scores hold true, Pitt would enter the final weekend of the season with eight conference wins and VT would enter with nine. Both teams also have challenging road series to close out the year, as Pitt travels to play red-hot Wake Forest and Virginia Tech hits the road to face Miami. What this means is, if NC State and UNC can hang on and win today, Boston College will have a very real chance to jump both Pitt and VT with a series win/sweep against Notre Dame next weekend, and we will have up-to-date coverage of the conference standings, and BC’s chances, early this week once today’s games have gone final. However, before they can focus on the Irish, the Eagles will need to set their sights on beating the Maine Black Bears who will travel to Chestnut Hill on Tuesday for a 4pm matchup at Shea Field to close out BC’s non-conference schedule for the year.