Michael Strem went 3-for-4 with two runs scored, Nick Sciortino had a bases clearing double in the first, and Geoffrey Murphy picked up his first win since undergoing Tommy John surgery as a sophomore as Boston College defeated Rhode Island, 8-4, at Bill Beck Field in Kingston, Rhode Island on Tuesday afternoon.
The win improved BC to 23-21, clinching the mark for most victories in the Mike Gambino era. Rhode Island, meanwhile fell under .500 to 17-18-1.
After scoring only one run against North Carolina over the weekend, the Eagles erupted from the second pitch of the game en route to five second innings tallies. Jake Palomaki led off with a single up the middle, advancing to second when Johnny Adams grounded to short and moving up to third on a wild pitch during Blake Butera's appearance. Butera drove him home with a single through the left side, making it 1-0.
With a runner on first and one out, Michael Strem and Donovan Casey singled on back-to-back pitches to load the bags for Logan Hoggarth. Hoggarth grounded hit one at shortstop Tim Caputo, but in a switch from the UNC series, Caputo booted it instead of attempting a double play ball. That scored Butera, keeping the bases loaded with one out. Nick Sciortino then doubled to right center, clearing the bases and putting BC up 5-0 with one unearned run. Gabriel Hernandez struck out to end the inning, but BC batted around in the first and had already pulled away from the Rams before Rhody ever had a chance to put a batter in the box.
BC added a sixth run in the second inning when Blake Butera doubled home Johnny Adams with one out. After Palomaki struck out to start the inning, Adams singled to left and moved up to second on a wild pitch. With a 2-2 count, Butera drove him home, making it 6-0.
URI sliced the lead in half in the third inning against starting pitcher Nick Poore. Jordan Powell led off with a walk, and Murphy put a second man on when he walked Derek Gardella two batters later. Chris Hess singled to right to score Powell and put runners on first and second, and Martin Taveras doubled them both home. Murphy got out of the inning by picking off Taveras off of second for a second out before striking out Mike Corin.
The Rams cut even closer to the BC lead one inning later when Powell grounded in Mick DeRegis to make it 6-4. It would remain that way into the seventh before the Eagles finally pulled away for good. Michael Strem doubled home Blake Butera and Donovan Casey doubled home Strem to give BC their last two insurance runs. Casey nearly made it 9-4 when he advanced to third on a wild pitch, but Hoggarth stranded him there with a ground ball to the third baseman.
URI did not have a base runner in the seventh, eighth, or ninth.
Poore lasted four innings in the start, giving up all four runs on six hits. He finished with four strikeouts and three walks, having thrown 75 pitches along the way. Murphy (1-3) came on in relief and cleaned house, throwing four innings on his own and allowing just one hit while striking out two to pick up the win. Tyler Hinchcliffe finished the game with a perfect ninth, striking out one.
For Rhode Island, starter Ben Wessel (2-3) absorbed the loss, giving up seven runs, one unearned, on eight hits. Surprisingly, he didn't walk anyone, and he struck out five. He did deliver three wild pitches. With two outs in the seventh, he was relieved by Matt Ferraiolo, who failed to get the out but gave up two hits and a run. Dom Grillo got out of the seventh and pitched the eighth before Evan Flanagan threw the ninth with just a walk against him.
Offensively, Strem went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Butera went 2-for-4 with a couple of runs scored and a couple of RBI, and Sciortino's lone hit gave him three runs driven in. Casey and Hoggarth both drove in one while scoring one, and both Palomaki and Adams scored runs.
BC is back at it right away on Wednesday, returning home to play the three-time defending regular season Northeast Conference champion Bryant Bulldogs. Game time is slated for 3 PM.