Over the course of the first two games of their three game series, the Boston College Eagles gained measures of pride and perseverance. While they lost two games to a team ranked in the top five of the nation, they did so by being a big time thorn in their opponent's side, a team with no quit that wouldn't go away. On Saturday, they took the diamond against that same team with the hope of getting out of the weekend and maybe stealing a game on the way out the door.
They did not take the field expecting that.
LSU scored in every inning except the seventh, including a five-run eighth, to post 16 runs on 21 hits against the Boston College defense. When it was all set and done, all the good will built up by the first two games was replaced by a sinking feeling as the Tigers destroyed BC, 16-2, at Alex Box Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
No Boston College pitcher lasted longer than 13 batters, and the Eagles were forced to use eight total men on the bump. Nick Poore (0-1) lasted just 1.2 in a starting role, surrendering four runs on six hits through the process. Justin Dunn got out of the second inning for him, but he ended up giving up four runs on five hits over the next two innings of work. The Eagles then used six other pitchers, none more than an inning, although three were not charged with a hit. Bobby Skogsbergh pitched the fifth with Luke Fernandes pitching the sixth. John Nicklas threw a shutout in the seventh before Kevin Connor, Brian Rapp, and Carmen Giampetruzzi all pitched a single out as the Tigers batted around in the eighth. Connor gave up three runs on two hits and a walk while Rapp surrendered two runs, none of which were earned, on three hits.
LSU, meanwhile, scored one in the first, three in the second, two in the third, two in the fourth, one in the fifth, two in the sixth, and five in the eighth while limiting BC hitters to just five hits. Alex Bregman hit his first homer of the season for the Tigers, while catcher Kade Scivicque blasted two long balls of his own to give him three on the year. Andrew Stevenson hit two triples, and the Tigers recorded a total of 10 extra base hits.
Jake Godfrey (1-0) pitched five innings to pick up the win for LSU, giving up all but one of the BC hits. He surrendered a run in the fifth when Joe Cronin doubled to right center to score Blake Butera with two outs. Chris Shaw recorded the only other BC hit, a solo home run in the top of the eighth over the right field fence. That came off reliever Kyle Bouman.
The loss, before an announced crowd of 11,118, is especially stinging because of how well the Eagles played on Friday. After the game, it came back to preparations. In his postgame remarks, Mike Gambino talked about the players' need to remain focused in batting practice and in pregame preparation, which seemed out of sync on Saturday. While the players echoed that sentiment, it is at least a teachable moment to refocus the team after two better outputs against a national powerhouse.
If nothing else, there's a couple of takeaways after a game like this. First, there isn't much to talk about by way of the box score or the on-field performance. One team was very good. One team was very bad. In baseball, you're normally good for one or two bad losses per season because of the frequency of the games. You're also good for a couple of wins you probably shouldn't get.
The pressure, though, is to refocus and get back to work during the week. This game is in the books on record, but there's an old adage that you're never as good as when you dominate and you're never as bad as when you get dominated. LSU dominated BC on Saturday, pure and simple. The page now turns to next weekend's Snowbird Classic, and we'll see if the Eagles can come back and put a hurting on Nebraska-Omaha in their next game.
Boston College is back in action against the UNO Mavericks on Friday when they play a 10:30 AM game as part o the Snowbird Classic. They'll play four games as part of the tournament with their latest start coming at 2 PM. On Saturday, they'll play North Dakota State before taking on a Kansas team that was also swept by LSU on Sunday. They finish on Monday with Villanova before playing the Boston Red Sox in their annual exhibition spring training game on Tuesday.
ACC play is about two weeks away, when the Eagles will take on Florida State in Tallahassee.