On Friday afternoon, 6-seed Boston College baseball took on 3-seed Clemson down in Durham for the chance to advance to the ACC tournament semifinals. Both teams defeated Virginia Tech earlier in the week, meaning the winner of this game was set to be the one to advance from Pool C. The Tigers, ranked #6 in the nation, dispatched the #22 Eagles 4-1 for the win.
Like most Birdball games against tough competition, their pitching struggled early. Clemson managed to get 2 runs on the board in both the 1st and 2nd innings, putting BC in an early 4-0 hole as starting pitcher Chris Flynn struggled to get out of trouble. John West came in to relieve Flynn in the 3rd inning and did an amazing job against one of college baseball’s best offenses, holding the Tigers to 0 hits through the 6th inning, keeping BC in the game by retiring 14 straight batters. He did eventually let up a walk and hit in the 7th, but kept the Tigers scoreless with a strikeout to get out of trouble at the end of the inning. West shutout Clemson in the 8th and ended the day with 5.2 innings pitched and no runs allowed.
The Eagles offense couldn’t get anything going all day, though, getting just 2 total hits through 8 innings, completely shut out by Clemson’s Austin Gordon. Only a couple times they were even able to put runners in scoring position. Clemson finally brought on its relievers by the 7th, but they shut down the Eagles, too, and Boston College’s only score came with 2 outs in the 9th off of a Nick Wang solo homerun. BC got a couple of baserunners on in the 9th after Wang’s solo shot, but Clemson eventually took the game 4-1 to advance to the ACC semifinals.
Next up for the Eagles are the NCAA tournament regionals. Despite their loss today, it is still very possible that the selection committee could choose BC as a host for one of its 16 regionals next week, depending on how RPI shakes out at the end of conference tournaments. We’ll find out on Monday at noon on ESPN2 at the NCAA tournament selection show. Whether or not they’re chosen to host, the regionals will begin next Friday, June 2nd.