We knew heading into the weekend that we didn't care what happened during the games between Boston College and the Hartford Hawks. That's the perfect attitude to have since Sunday would've ordinarily made life miserable for Eagles fans.
Hartford scored four runs in the eighth inning against John Nicklas to rally from down one past BC, 5-2, at Shea Field. The Eagles loss split the series with the Hawks at one game apiece while sending BC back to .500 overall at 25-25. Hartford, meanwhile, improved to 19-27 with the victory.
Still, there's reason to be okay with the result. Boston College long ago forfeited its right to the NCAA Tournament bubble, so this game more or less meant nothing to the final result of the season. The Eagles are still awaiting their updated odds of making the ACC Tournament; NC State, who won the first two games against Wake Forest, plays the Demon Deacons on Monday in the third game of their three game slate. Georgia Tech, meanwhile, essentially knocked BC out of contention for their spot with a 10-3 victory over Pitt to take two of three games.
Hartford took a 1-0 lead over the Eagles in the top of the third inning. After Jesse Adams pitched 2.1 perfect innings, Joe Roberti doubled to left center. Aaron Wilson flew out to center to advance the runner, and he scored one batter later when Trey Stover singled him home.
BC threatened in the first three innings but couldn't break the scoreboard, leaving four men on against starting pitcher Brian Murphy. They finally broke through in the fifth, scoring twice to both take the lead and chase the starter. After Logan Hoggarth led off with a strikeout, Scott Braren drew a one out walk. Mike Gambino sent Nick Colucci into the game to pinch run for Braren, and he sprinted to third when Jake Palomaki drilled his first offering into left center. After Murphy walked Butera to load the bases, head coach Justin Blood went to his bullpen for Jeremy Charles.
Charles inherited the bases loaded, one-out situation but couldn't pitch out of it. MIchael Strem doubled down the line on a 1-1 pitch, bringing home both Palomaki and Colucci and leaving a runner on third.
The Hawks chose to intentionally walk Chris Shaw to take the bat out of his hands, and it worked to perfection, getting out of the jam with a strikeout and a grounder to second to end the threat. In leaving the bases loaded, BC left a golden opportunity to blow the game open on the table but they at least had a 2-1 lead.
It wouldn't last. In the eighth inning, John Nicklas came into the game for his usual set up role. He promptly surrendered back to back hits to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Chris Del Debbio sacrificed them into scoring position, and David MacKinnon singled up the middle to score both runners and give the Hawks back the lead, 3-2.
Hartford added two more on an RBI single by Ryan Lukach and an RBI double by Erik Ostberg, padding the lead to the eventual final score. BC put two runners on in the eighth but stranded both, going down in order in the ninth to end the game.
Both starting pitchers picked up no decisions, with Jesse Adams throwing five innings, striking out three and walking two. He gave up one run on three hits while throwing 79 pitches. Tyler Hinchcliffe and Geoffrey Murphy both threw an inning of relief, with Hinchcliffe surrendering one hit and Murphy retiring one via strikeout. Both faced the minimum three batters.
Nicklas (1-1) wound up the loss, giving up four runs on five hits in his one inning of work. Travis Ferrick pitched a pefect top of the ninth, striking out two.
For the Hawks, Murphy went 4.1 innings to start things off, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out four and walking four. Jeremy Charles (4-2) won the game by throwing 2.2 innings. He was not charged with a run, although he was the pitcher on the hill when the runs scored. He was officially charged with three hits, striking out two and walking one. John LaRossa pitched the eighth, striking out two and walking two, and Jacob Mellin picked up his first save of the year with one K in the ninth.
For BC at the dish, Michael Strem went 2-for-3 with two RBI, and Blake Butera went 2-for-4. Seven Eagles picked up walkes, but they stranded nine on the basepaths. Every BC starting hitter except for Butera and Braren struck out at least once.
For the Hawks, David MacKinnon finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI. Ryan Lukach went 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, and Erik Ostberg contributed one RBI on one hit. BC only walked two batters, but they also only struck out six in the loss.
The Eagles have a short turnaround to Tuesday when they wrap up their 2015 non-conference slate with a game against the Maine Black Bears. Following the Maine game, they'll begin preparations for what could be a final run at the ACC postseason. Game time against Maine is set for 3 PM at Shea Field.