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Birdball Drops Sixth In A Row

Eagles rally from down 4-0, but it's too little too late in 4-3 loss as Miami sweeps in Florida.

Jim Pierce

Despite a scoreless tie through five innings, the Miami Hurricanes scored four times in the sixth inning then avoided a collapse against a furious Boston College rally to take a 4-3 victory on Sunday afternoon.  The win secured a first weekend sweep for Miami of BC as both teams opened ACC play in Coral Gables this weekend.

Starter Jeff Burke took the loss for BC (6-9, 0-3 ACC) in six innings of work.  He pitched well through the first five, surrendering just two hits through the first five innings.  But in the sixth, he ran into almost immediate trouble.  Dale Carey led off the inning with a single, and Tyler Palmer sacrificed him over to second with a bunt down the third base line.

BC elected to intentionally walk Willie Abreu to set up a double play attempt, but with runners at first and second and one out, Brad Fieger singled to short to load the bases.  Alex Hernandez grounded to second, but Blake Butera committed an error that allowed both Carey and Abreu to score and make it a 2-0 game.  David Thompson lined a comebacker back at the box, hitting the starter Burke, scoring a single to bring home Fieger and advance Hernandez to third.  Hernandez scored on a passed ball, damaging BC with a big, four-run inning.

BC got one back in the top of the seventh to start their comeback rally, however.  Johnny Adams hit one to short, but Brandon Lopez committed a throwing error to allow the freshman to reach base with one out.  Tom Bourdon then singled, and Adams rounded second and hustled his way to third.  With runners at the corners, Nick Colucci singled through the left side to score the runner and advance Bourdon up one base.  BC failed to score again but at least got on the board with a 4-1 score.

BC cut into the lead even more with a big 8th inning.  With AJ Salcines on the hill, Butera led off with a single to left.  Chris Shaw delivered with a double to left center after John Hennessy struck out, putting runners on second and third.  That drew a quick hook from head coach Jim Morris, who quickly went to his bullpen and brought in Adam Sargent.  Sargent didn't fare much better, surrendering an RBI infield single to Joe Cronin that scored Butera to make the score 4-2.

After Johnny Adams singled to load the bases, Morris went back to his bullpen for his third pitcher of the inning in Bryan Garcia.  The Miami native freshman gave up a sacrifice fly to Bourdon to score Shaw, but Colucci struck out and was thrown out at first on the dropped third strike to get the Canes out of the inning.

BC went down in order in the ninth against Garcia to end the game.

With the loss, the Eagles' losing streak extended to six in a row; they also did not win a single game in this past calendar week.  Burke went six innings for Birdball, allowing five hits and four runs, of which two were earned.  He struck out three and walked four (one intentionally) while facing 26 batters.  Bobby Skogsbergh, John Nicklas, and Steve Green pitched lockdown relief to keep Miami off the board, combining for two innings of two-hit ball.  Burke was tagged for the loss, his first decision of the year.

Andrew Suarez started the game for the Hurricanes and picked up his second win of the season.  Salcines threw one-third of an inning and was tagged with two runs (both earned) on two hits.  Sargent didn't record an out, and Garcia threw an inning and two-thirds to record his fifth save of the year.

BC limps into the end of a long road trip, but they get nearly a full week off before having to head to Virginia next week.  They'll take on the Cavaliers for a three-game set down in Charlottesville before returning home for their first home game of the season on March 18th against Holy Cross.  Game times this weekend will be at 5 PM, 1 PM, and 1 PM.