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Boston College Baseball: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

A 3-1 weekend at the Snowbird Classic is followed up with the annual exhibition game against the Red Sox. So what went well and what wasn't so good?

Boston College Athletics

The Good

The Comeback against Kansas. Down 4-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth, Boston College was able to chip away at the Jayhawk lead in two frames. They scored one in the fourth and three in the fifth to quickly tie things up, then turned on the afterburners in the seventh for two runs to take a 6-4 lead. Since they'd outscored Kansas 6-0 since giving up those last two runs, the Eagles all but hit cruise control in taking the win.

John Gorman looked good on the mound, throwing seven strong innings and completely eating up time while saving the bullpen. Mike King tossed two solid innings for his second save, and the overall effort made BC look like a legitimate team with legitimate roles.

BC hit well with men on, stranding only six, and completely outplayed the Jayhawks when it mattered most. That the win came against a Power Five conference team helped, since this was a game to be worried about if BC played like they did in the loss to Xavier or the loss to Nebraska-Omaha.

Blowing out North Dakota State and Villanova. Doing it to the Bison should've been a foregone conclusion, but being able to hit cruise control early in the game and coast to a victory is one of those things teams absolutely have to be able to do. Up 12-0 after the fourth, BC made the most of their substitutions and got guys work who you won't necessarily see in the day-to-day lineup. Jesse Adams pitched deep enough to qualify for the win, then ceded the mound to a number of guys who probably wouldn't have thrown in a close game. Kyle Dunster pitched well, as did Eric Stone and Geoffrey Murphy.

The Villanova win was different because it showed BC was able to pull away late in the game. Chris Shaw's salami was a thing of beauty, and it came in the clutch. You want to be able to compete hard and be able to win one-run ballgames, but games are always won in the later innings. Shutting down Nova was one thing, but destroying them with a late game offensive explosion was another.

Starting Pitching. John Gorman, Jesse Adams, and Justin Dunn all started games over the weekend and pitched well enough to put BC in a position to win the games. Dunn and Adams both threw five innings and won their respective starts while Gorman went through seven innings in his start against Kansas. Those are big spots for those guys, and doing their job exactly they way they had to was key to the Eagles' success.

The Red Sox Game. In a game that didn't matter much to anything, the Eagles played hard and with the passion of Pete Frates. They honored the name on the back of the jersey exactly the way they were supposed to. In an exhibition game, once the novelty of playing the Red Sox brand wears off, the MLB club typically dominates and pulls away. BC played a tough, clean game for all seven innings. While they didn't necessarily have anything to prove, they were able to give the fans a good show and entertain everyone by playing the game the way it was meant to be played.

Honoring Pete. This can never be done enough, and a great job by Boston College and the Red Sox to pay homage to an man so inspirational to us all.

The Bad

Power Outage against UNO. The offense did nothing against Tyler Hamer. They mustered just five hits, none before the later stages of the game, and at one point didn't so much as have a base runner across three or four innings. Maybe it was a case of running into a pitcher who simply brought his best stuff to the ballpark, but it wasn't good.

On the mound, Jeff Burke wasn't bad, but he was overshadowed by Hamer's performance. Burke was able to get through six innings, but he gave up four runs. He needs to be able to keep the runs allowed down.

Gabriel Hernandez's Injury. Hernandez injured his groin against NDSU and wasn't heard from for the rest of the weekend. Jake Palomaki turned in a fine performance in relief in that lead off spot, but BC definitely needs Hernandez to be at top form in order to win enough ACC games to get into the league tournament.

Lack of Media Coverage. It's starting to get frustrating that the only way to follow Boston College baseball is on Twitter at the BCBirdBall account (which is a fantastic resource, by the way). I know I would love at least an audio broadcast, even if ACC Network coverage on ESPN3 is prohibitive. Heck, I'd even love to provide a broadcast somehow for selected games (shameless plug for me to do BC baseball games).

For parents of the players from out of town, there needs to be some type of forum to get this team some type of streaming broadcast.

The Ugly

Sciortino Gunned Down At The Plate. Let's reset what happened against the Red Sox. In the third inning, Nick Sciortino hit a fly ball off the fence in left that ended up being a double. Blake Butera singled to left, and Sciortino ended up rounding third, only to be gunned down at the plate by Daniel Nava.

Fundamental rule #1 of base running: never make an out at the plate. When it's the last out of an inning, it's so much worse. Whether it was Sciortino, the coaches, or whoever, you simply can't run into outs like that. You have to recognize that Nava has a Major League Baseball-caliber cannon out in left and not send him.

If you don't send Sciortino, you have runners at the corners with Joe Cronin (your #3 hitter) due up. If Cronin works the count, Chris Shaw is behind him. Instead, the meat of the order never got that chance.

It's only an exhibition, but BC lost by one. This was a missed opportunity to really make some waves. I'm trying very hard to not blame the kid or the coaches, but I'm only pointing it out as a learning experience for all parties involved.

WEEI's Broadcast. I believe Rob Bradford called the game alongside Joe Castiglione. One exchange saw Castiglione ask Boston College pitcher John Gorman why he chose to play college baseball when the Boston Red Sox had drafted him. Gorman gave a polite answer about always wanting to go to college at BC, and he touched on how awesome it was to receive the phone call that he was picked. Bradford followed it up by saying, "You spurned your hometown team that drafted you?!" or something to that effect. He acted like he was Mr. Incredulous that someone would turn down draft rights to go play college baseball.

This is not an uncommon trend, and someone who follows Major League Baseball understands that with respect to the draft. Out of high school, Gorman was picked in the 50th round—the very last round of the Draft. If you're picked in the 50th round, there's no reason for you to sign, and I can't think of a baseball team that would actually expect you to do so. That left Gorman with an awkward exchange. I mean, I guess it was joking, but I just kind of felt uncomfortable listening to it.

Let me be as specific as I can: I have no problems with the Red Sox broadcasting team. Please understand that I'm not denigrating the broadcast or the talent by saying they stink or that they should be replaced or that they are bad at what they do. Joe Castiglione is a hero of mine, and I think Rob Bradford is one of the best MLB analysts and baseball minds in the Boston media market. But this game in particular just felt like a missed opportunity to educate anyone listening about the fact that college baseball does exist in New England with its own unique culture.