Well, that’s one way to open a new stadium. Holy cow...
On Tuesday afternoon, the Boston College baseball team returned to action, taking on Northeastern, in what was the first game played at the new Brighton Stadium. Little did anyone know that the game itself would go into extra innings - lots of extra innings - and result in a 7-4 Huskies’ victory.
Northeastern jumped out to a 3-1 lead through the first four and a half innings of the game, tagging Boston College stater Jack Nelson for a run in the second and reliever John Witkowski for a pair in the fifth. The Eagles would respond and tie the game with an RBI double from Jack Cunningham in the bottom of the fifth and an RBI single from Jake Alu in the sixth.
Though BC put a man into scoring position in the bottom of the ninth, they couldn’t bring him home and the score remained knotted at three until the top of the 14th, when, after a walk and two singles, Northeastern plated a run. Down to their last out in the bottom of the frame, senior co-captain Jake Palomaki singled home Cunningham who recorded a base hit to the start the inning, then moved to third on a sac bunt and ground out, to tie the game at four.
After three more scoreless innings, Northeastern plated three runs in the top of the 18th, and, though the Eagles loaded the bases in the bottom of the frame with two outs, they couldn’t couldn’t come up with the big hit, and fell to the Huskies 7-4.
There are a few things that I am taking away from today’s game against Northeastern. First and foremost, Northeastern is a very good baseball team. I mentioned in my preview that a loss to them would not be a resume killer in the slightest, and battling them for two full games, before eventually falling, doesn’t really hurt the Eagles postseason chances as they stand now, as BC’s conference record will likely dictate whether or not they’re even in the conversation in late May. The second is, after weeks of crushing the ball, the BC offense cooled off against the Huskies. I’m not saying the Eagles’ bats went dead, they recorded 13 hits (albeit in 18 innings), but when they gave themselves opportunities to end the game in the ninth inning and later, they couldn’t get that one big hit. Now, those types of games happen where, for whatever reason, a team will get guys into scoring position, but just can’t push them across the plate. That may be the case today, but it seemed as though the BC hitters were letting some very hitable pitches go by against a relatively shaky Northeastern bullpen. I would’ve liked to see them be a little more aggressive toward the end of the game, especially with men in scoring position. Third, I thought Boston College’s pitchers did a very nice job today. Aside from the three runs given up in the 18th, I thought, for most part, BC’s arms challenged a very good lineup in Northeastern, and held them to four runs in 17 innings. I would, however, like to see the numbers of walks come down during the midweek. Lastly, how great is the new stadium? Chair-back seats. Turf. Cup-holders! Not to mention the fact that, although unexpected, Boston College played its first game under the lights at home. The stadium truly is a huge upgrade for the program and it will only get better once the press box and audio/video capabilities are finished next month. With tomorrow’s game against Siena postponed due to the impending snowfall, the Eagles are off until Friday when Virginia Tech visits the new stadium in a pivotal early season ACC series for both teams.