In a series the Boston College baseball team absolutely needed to win to keep their slim postseason hopes alive, the Eagles dropped two of their three games against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend over the weekend.
Trailing 3-0 in the top of the seventh inning on Friday, it looked as though BC would be shutout in their series opener against Notre Dame. However, Gian Martellini hit a grand slam in the inning to give his team a 4-3 advantage heading into the bottom half of the frame. Unfortunately, the home team answered right back with a run of its own to tie the game at four. After two scoreless innings, the game went into extras. The Eagles were held in check in their half of the tenth and could not push a run across the plate, but the Irish could, and walked off with a 5-4 victory.
Sunday was all BC and all Dan Metzdorf, as the junior left-hander turned in yet another dominant performance, going eight innings while only giving up a pair of hits and allowing zero runs on the afternoon, leading his team to a 6-0 victory. In support of Metzdorf, the BC offense scored runs in the second, fifth, and sixth innings and posted a three-spot in the eighth to take control of the game. Freshman Chris Galland led the offense at the plate, going 2 for 4 on the day with another stolen base.
Sunday’s finale was a frustrating one for the Boston College team and fans alike, as the Eagles, behind a strong outing from Brain Rapp, took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning, only to have the Fighting Irish score two runs for the 5-4 victory, after holding BC scoreless in the ninth. Rapp pitched seven strong innings, allowing only three runs on the afternoon, while striking out three. Joe Suozzi had a great day at the plate, going 3 for 4 and scoring a run. Jack Cunningham also had a nice afternoon with a 2 for 4 performance that included an RBI.
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but one that, unfortunately, fans of Boston College baseball have gotten used to this season: a late BC lead slips away and results in a one-run loss. This weekend’s version, however, is more costly than the others, as the series loss to the Fighting Irish all but put an end to the Eagles’ hopes of returning to the postseason for a record third year in a row. At 6-18 in conference, Boston College sits two games behind Virginia Tech, three games behind Virginia, four games behind Notre Dame, and five games behind Miami and Wake Forest. They’d need to jump two of those teams in their final two conference series to get into the tournament which, although still technically possible, is unlikely given those team’s remaining schedules and the two series BC has coming up. Now, stranger things have happened and we’ll have a better read of the situation after next weekend’s series against Lousiville (BC heads into exam week while others around conference play each other), but it doesn’t look good. If the status quo holds, we’ll look back at this season and think about the one runs games at NC State and Virginia and all the late leads that were given up in conference play and wonder what if? As frustrating as that is to think about right now, there are still games to be played this season and Boston College has two of them this week, as they welcome Holy Cross to Brighton on Tuesday and then travel to Providence, RI on Wednesday for a match-up with Brown.