For a fourth consecutive league start, a Boston College pitcher allowed no more than one run. For the second time in two weeks, the second time in two starts for him personally, Mike King threw a complete game. And for the second time in two weeks, the Eagles engaged in a pitchers' duel of epic proportions against an ACC team ahead of them in the standings.
The unfortunate part is that this time they didn't win.
North Carolina scored one run in the bottom of the second, then relied on Zac Gallen the rest of the way as both starting pitchers threw complete games in a 1-0 Tar Heel victory from Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill on Friday night. They combined for 13 strikeouts while allowed just eight hits and four walks combined. Both pitchers threw 100 pitches, combined for 217, including 133 strikes. In true duel fashion, the game finished in just over two hours.
The lone UNC (26-15, 11-10 ACC) run came in the second when King walked in a run with the bases loaded. Tyler Ramirez led off with a single up the middle and stole second. Two batters later, Joe Dudek walked to put runners on first and second with one out, the first walk allowed by BC in over two weeks. They loaded the bases one batter later when Elijah Sutherland singled to short.
King rallied to strike out Zack Gahagen but he walked Logan Warmoth to push the run across the plate. Brian Miller lined out to end the inning shortly thereafter.
BC got a hit in the third and a hit in the sixth but didn't really threaten Gallen's seemingly-perfect day until the ninth, when they loaded the bases. After Johnny Adams struck out to start the inning, Jake Palomaki walked and Blake Butera singled on consecutive pitches to put runners on first and second with one out. Two batters later, with a second out on the board, Gallen walked Michael Strem to load the bases.
That's when Donovan Casey, down to his last strike, hit a shot to first. It was stabbed by first baseman Joe Dudek, but Casey seemingly beat him to the back. In a bang-bang play at first, the umpire called Casey out.
With the loss, BC fell to 22-19, 9-12 in the ACC. They finished with hits by Butera, Scott Braren, and Johnny Adams.
Both Virginia and Georgia Tech won yesterday, improving them to 10-12 on the season in league play. NC State also lost, pushing the Cavaliers and Yellow Jackets a half game in front of the Eagles and Wolfpack. BC and NC State remain tied with 9-12 conference records, a half game up on Wake Forest, who lost to fall to 9-13. If the season ended today, BC and NC State would be tied for the final playoff spot with the Demon Deacons out of the running.
Virginia Tech remains a full game back of both teams.
UNC and BC will tangle for a morning matinee from Chapel Hill on Saturday, with the first pitch scheduled for 10:25 AM. Live video and audio is available through GoHeels.com