Johnny Adams hit his first career home run, and yeoman's work by the Boston College pitching staff resulted in a 13-10 victory over Harvard from Shea Field on Wednesday. The Eagles led 13-5 before limping through to the finish line, but in the end, all that mattered was getting the W.
The Eagles (18-18) pulled to .500 on the season with the win, while they dropped the visiting Crimson under the golden mark with a 16-17 record.
Harvard jumped on the Eagles first with two runs in the top of the first. Starting pitcher Kyle Dunster surrendered a home run to lead off hitter Mike Martin on the fourth pitch he threw, putting the Crimson up 1-0. Harvard followed it up with a double by Drew Reid, and an RBI single by Mitch Klug to give them the 2-0 lead.
Dunster rallied to induce a couple of groundouts, but a walk to Austin Black chased him from the game after just two-thirds of an inning thrown. Tyler Hinchcliffe came on in relief and got out of the inning on his second pitch when John Fallon bounced out to third base.
BC struck back against the Crimson in the bottom of the second against starting pitcher Ian Miller. The first three Eagles reached base, as Miller walked Steve Sauter, plunked Donovan Casey, and gave up a single to Scott Braren to load the bases with nobody out. The Eagles got their first run two batters later, when Johnny Adams hit a sacrifice fly to left deep enough to score the runner from third. With two out, Jake Palomaki hit one to short, but Reid misplayed it, allowing Braren and Casey to score. Blake Butera grounded out to end the inning, but BC had the lead, 3-2.
In the third, Harvard went to their bullpen for Sean O'Neill, and he likewise ran into trouble. Joe Cronin and Michael Strem doubled on consecutive pitches to give BC a 4-2 lead two batters into the inning. Sauter then bombed one to right center for a triple, scoring Strem for a 5-2 lead. Sauter scored one batter later when Casey grounded out to second base. Heading through the fourth inning, BC had a commanding 5-2 lead.
But the Crimson responded to tie the game in the top of the fifth. Hinchcliffe remained on the hill into the inning, but he ran into a jam to start things off. He walked Jack Colton to lead things off, and Harvard got a second runner when Martin singled to left center. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, and Reid drew a full count walk to load things up with just one out.
Klug hit a sac fly to center to score Colton, forcing Mike Gambino into his bullpen for Luke Fernandes with a 5-3 lead. But Fernandes inherited a runner in scoring position, and catcher Ethan Ferreira delivered in a big way, doubling home both runners to tie things up at 5-5. Fernandes got the next two batters to retire, ending the inning with a tie game.
That tie score didn't last, as BC pulled ahead for good in the bottom of the fifth. After Strem scored to give the Eagles the lead, Johnny Adams found himself at the dish with Donovan Casey on second and Gabriel Hernandez on first. Adams drilled an 0-1 offering to left field, homering to give BC a 9-5 lead.
It was Adams' first career homer.
BC would add three runs in the sixth to take a 12-5 lead, but Harvard came back in the bottom of the seventh to cut the lead to 12-8. With Trevor Massey on the hill and one out, Reid doubled to left center, and the Crimson loaded the bases when Klug was hit by a 1-0 pitch and Ferreira walked. Matt Hink singled Reid home, and Black followed it up with a single to right center to bring home two more. Massey got out of the inning when Fallon grounded into a double play.
Harvard was kept off the board by Casey in the eighth, as the position player came onto pitch a 1-2-3 inning. But the Crimson got two in the ninth against Geoffrey Murphy to cut the game to 12-10 before Fallon popped out to end the game.
The wild game didn't surprise most, who expected BC to avoid using its weekend pitching staff against an offensive power of a Harvard team. The Crimson registered 10 runs on 10 hits while leaving only six men on base. Drew Reid went 2-for-4 with three runs scored, and MIke Martin went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Mitch Klug had a couple of RBI, as did Ethan Ferreira, Matt Hink, and Austin Black. Six Harvard hitters registered at least one hit with four registering multi-hit games.
The Eagles, meanwhile, got into the offensive act with three multi-hit games and all starters except for one registering at least one knock. Johnny Adams went 1-for-3 but notched four RBI, and his only hit was the three-run bomb. Joe Cronin, Michael Strem, and Stephen Sauter all had two hits, and Donovan Casey, despite an 0-for-4 day, scored two runs while knocking in one.
On the hill, BC went deep into their staff. After Dunster lasted just 0.2 innings, Hinchcliffe (1-0) threw 3.2 innings, giving up three runs while walking two and striking out two. He gave up just one hit, but he hit two batsman in picking up the win. He ate enough innings to save the majority of the regular staff.
Fernandes went 0.2 innings before Travis Ferrick, another position player turned pitcher, threw one inning of two strike out work. Trever Massey lasted one inning but gave up three runs, and Donovan Casey, the game's DH, surrendered th spot to throw a perfect inning with one strikeout. Geoffrey Murphy substituted in for Casey, allowing two runs, one earned, on two hits.
For the Crimson, Miller (1-1) took the loss, giving up one earned run but three total on two hits in two innings. O'Neill then pitched the third inning, giving up three runs of his own on three hits. Greg Coman walked three and threw a wild pitch in his sole inning of work, with Joey Sliepka giving up three runs (none of which were earned) in his only inning. The only pitcher to not give up a run was Shaun Rubin, who threw two innings, striking out three and giving up only a single hit in the eighth.
Escaping the non-conference clutches of an ugly game, the Eagles turn their attention to Georgia Tech this weekend. BC has now won five straight non-conference games and have lost only once in games outside the ACC since the Boston Red Sox exhibition game. On the season, BC is 12-7 in OOC games, with three of the losses coming against LSU and six coming in the first three weeks of the season.
The Eagles open up the Georgia Tech series on Friday at 2:30 PM. Saturday's game will be the annual ALS Awareness Game held at Shea Field.