A weekend that started with so much promise ended in disappointment, as the Boston College baseball team lost to 22nd-ranked Virginia in extra innings on Sunday, giving the Cavaliers a two-to-one series victory.
After winning 6-2 on Friday night behind another dominant outing by Jacob Stevens and a 4 for 5 night at the plate from Jake Palomaki, it looked very likely that the Eagles were going to leave Charlottesville with at least a couple wins and take a huge step forward in the ACC standings early in the season.
Junior Dan Metzdorf did his part to make that happen on Saturday, as he turned in his best outing of the season to-date, allowing only a single run in five innings, giving his team a chance to take the series from Virginia on Saturday. However, after Metzdorf departed the game, the Cavaliers took advantage of BC’s bullpen and scored a combined six runs in the sixth and seventh innings and quelled a Boston College rally in the top of the ninth to take the game 7-3. Sophomore Dante Baldelli had a nice day at the plate in the loss, as the outfielder went 3 for 4 with an RBI.
Sunday’s rubber-match saw Virginia jump out to a 3-0 lead in the game’s first three innings, but a four-run fourth and a two-run sixth for the Eagles saw BC take a 6-3 lead heading into the seventh. However, the Cavaliers stormed right back, scoring four runs in the bottom of seventh off Boston College’s bullpen, and took the 7-6 advantage into the top of the ninth. Down one in their final frame, freshman Chris Galland hit an infield single with two outs. After the speedy Galland stole second base, sophomore Brian Dempsey hit a grounder to second that Virginia’s second baseman threw away, allowing Galland to score, tying the game. After BC held UVA scoreless in the bottom of the ninth, Gian Martellini launched a two-run homer to the opposite field in the top of the tenth to give Boston College a 9-7 lead. Unfortunately, Virginia loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with no outs and, after a single tied the game at nine, the Cavalier’s Charlie Cody hit a sacrifice fly, giving the home team the win and the series.
This is a tough pill to swallow. While it’s incredibly difficult to win on the road in the ACC, after Friday night’s game, personally, I was sure the Eagles we’re going to come home with at least two wins. After all, the BC bats had just dominated the Cavaliers’ best pitcher and Stevens had given the rest of the pitching staff a blue print on how to quiet Virginia’s lineup. So, grabbing one more win in Charlottesville, in my mind, was something that was very attainable. And, the Eagles had their opportunities: Metzdorf threw well enough to win on Saturday, as did Brian Rapp on Sunday, not to mention the fact that BC held leads of two and three runs at different points in the series’ finale. But, it wasn’t meant to be and, instead of returning to Boston either 3-3 or 4-2 in the conference, BC comes back at 2-4. Now, before I begin to sound too negative, I need to put these first two weekends into perspective. Let’s not forget that a year ago, BC didn’t have it’s second conference win until the middle of April and were a paltry 1-14 before taking two of three from Duke on the road. This season, however, the Eagles have played two ranked opponents on the road in their first two ACC series, and have been a hair away from taking both series. The offense continues to produce at a high level and, if Metzdorf can maintain the form his found this weekend, the rotation features three pitchers that can shut down any lineup. My point is, at 2-4 in the ACC through the first two weekends, and with Virginia Tech coming to Chestnut Hill next week, BC is in a decent spot. Would it have been better to take both series early on and come into the home opener at 4-2 or better? Of course. But, coming out of two tough road series with a pair of wins to open the season in the ACC is pretty good. Now, with a road trip to Clemson looming in two weeks, it’s time to open the new stadium and get above .500 in the ACC this week with a sweep of the Hokies.