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Boston College 6, Kansas 4: Eagles Come From Behind To Defeat Jayhawks

Down 4-0, Eagles score three in the fifth and two in the seventh to defeat a Power Five conference team

Boston College Athletics

It was the game we'd been waiting for.

John Gorman threw seven innings of sterling starting pitching, Mike King threw a near-perfect two innings of relief, and the Boston College offense erupted for five runs in the latter stages of the game as the Eagles defeated the Kansas Jayhawks, 6-4, on Sunday morning in Port Charlotte, Florida.

BC had to rally from a large deficit as the Jayhawks built a 4-0 lead in the first four innings of play. They scored two in the third and two in the fourth behind a combined five hits and one BC error. In the third, Steve Goldstein and Matt McLaughlin singled to put two runners, then moved into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Joven Afenir hit a sacrifice fly to score Goldsten, and Colby Wright singled to right to score McLaughin, giving the Jayhawks at 2-0 lead.

In the fourth, they added two more to take a commanding lead. Connor McKay singled and Blair Beck to put two on with nobody out. That allowed Dakota Smith to sacrifice bunt them into scoring position. The next batter, Goldstein, grounded to third, but Joe Cronin couldn't field the ball cleanly, and McKay scored. Two batters later, Justin Protacio singled to center to plate Beck, but centerfielder Gabriel Hernandez gunned Goldstein down as he tried to score from first.

Down by four, Boston College chopped at the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Gabriel Hernandez reached on an error and scored from first when Blake Butera doubled down the line. The Eagles would get another base runner when Cronin reached via another error, pushing Butera to third. While Chris Shaw was at the plate, starting pitcher Sean Rackoski threw a wild pitch, advancing Cronin up a bag to second and bringing Butera home from third. Catcher Michael Tinsley was able to field the ball and get it to Rackoski, however, and Butera was tagged out for the first out of the inning.

Shaw eventually walked, putting runners on first and third with one out, but Michael Strem grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.

The next inning in the fifth, BC scored three more to tie the game at 4-4. Donovan Casey beat out a ground ball to third, and Nick Sciortino singled up the middle to put two on with one out. Johnny Adams singled to left, scoring Casey from second and cutting the lead to 4-2. Sciortino eventually moved up to third on a wild pitch, and he scored when Jake Palomaki, who entered the game in the previous half inning, singled him home. The Eagles got a third run when Blake Butera grounded out to short with one out to score Adams from third.

The game remained tied into the last three innings, which is where the Eagles broke the tie and took their first lead. Sciortino led off with his first career triple, chugging around a three bagger after blasting one to right center. He scored almost immediately when Johnny Adams doubled him home. Adams moved up to third on a sacrifice by Palomaki, and he scored when Butera hit a sac fly to right.

That set up the last three innings, where Mike King came into work out of the bullpen. In the top of the eighth, he walked his first batter but sat down the next three, then slammed the door with three straight outs in the ninth.

For the Eagles, it was the perfect outing by the pitching staff. Gorman (1-1) picked up his first win of the season by pitching seven full innings, allowing four runs, one unearned, on six hits. He struck out six and walked two before turning the game over to King, who picked up his second save with a near perfect outing.

At the dish, Sciortino played the hero with a 4-for-4 day with two runs scored and the big triple, and Johnny Adams went 2-for-4 with a couple of runs scored and two RBI. Blake Butera only had one hit but drove in three runs, and Donovan Casey contributed two more hits and a run scored.

For Kansas, Rackoski lasted 4.2 innings on the bump, allowing four runs, one unearned, on six hits. He struck out one and walked two and was charged with two wild pitches. Blake Weiman (0-1) absorbed the loss by giving up two runs on two hits in just under two innings of work. Ryan Ralston, Ryan Jackson, and Sam Gilbert combiend for the final 1.2 innings of work on the mound.

The Eagles (4-7) now turn their attention to another early morning first pitch before noon against Villanova on Monday. Following their final game in the Snowbird Classic, they'll pack their bags for Fort Myers and their 25th annual exhibition game with the Boston Red Sox. BC will enjoy a couple of days off for training and work before opening their ACC schedule with Florida State on Friday.