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Boston College 5, Northern Illinois 1: King, Martellini Lead Eagles To Dominant First Win

Gian Martellini blasts his first career homer in his first career game, while Mike King throws seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball as BC blows by No. Illinois, 5-1, on Opening Day.

BC Athletics

All of the scouting reports pointed signs at Gian Martellini being a success at the collegiate level.

For the past two seasons, he was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Rhode Island, an Honorable Mention All-American selection, and the top recruit coming out of the Ocean State. The 24th best recruit in the nation, he chose to stay close to home to play at Boston College, coming to Chestnut Hill over Clemson, Coastal Carolina, Florida, Florida State, and NC State.

On Opening Day, Mike Gambino saw fit to start the catcher at the designated hitter spot. In his second plate appearance, he strode to the plate in a big spot with runners on the corners and one out. With Donovan Casey on third after a triple and Joe Cronin on first after a four-pitch walk, Martellini blasted a drive over the wall in left-center field, cashing in three runs and staking the Eagles to a 3-0 lead.

It was all they needed, but it wasn't all they got in a 5-1 Opening Day victory over Northern Illinois on Friday evening in Glendale, Arizona.

Anthony Maselli followed up the homer with a triple, then scored when Nick Sciortino singled up the middle to put BC up 4-0 in the fourth. The next inning in the fifth, they plated another run, this time with two outs. After Johnny Adams and Michael Strem grounded out, Donovan Casey singled up the middle. He moved up a base on a wild pitch, then scored when Cronin singled him home, staking the Eagles to a 5-0 lead at the game's halfway point.

The game would've been only about the offensive flash if BC's starting pitcher, junior Mike King, didn't lower the hammer from the hill.

King faced only three over the minimum, surrendering only a single to centerfielder Justin Fletcher in the third inning. He opened the game by retiring six in a row, including three strikeouts, before Joe Jumonville led off the third by reaching via an error by Johnny Adams. After King rallied to retire Luke Yapp and strike out Jason Gasser, Fletcher singled to put two on and two out. But Johnny Zubek flew out to Gabriel Hernandez in left to end the threat.

The next NIU base runner came with one out in the sixth. After King retired the side in the fourth and fifth, he opened up the sixth with a flyout. He then hit Fletcher, who wound up on second two batters later on a throwing error by Nick Sciortino. But NIU failed to score when Brian Sisler flew out to center.

King finished his performance by retiring the side in the seventh.

Brian Rapp came in for the eighth inning and immediately struck out the first two batters he faced. Gasser singled to third, but Fletcher failed to do anything with it, fouling out to end the inning.

The Huskies managed to manufacture a run in the ninth when Rapp hit Sisler and walked Tommy Hook with one out, Sisler advancing to third on a wild pitch. Brad Wood singled him home before Rapp rallied for two more K's to end the game.

It was a dominant performance by the Eagles, who scored five runs on seven hits and made the most of their opportunities. Casey finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while Cronin, Martellini, Maselli, Sciortino, and Hernandez all added one hit. Martellini had the big drive with the three-run bomb.

On the mound, King (1-0) went seven innings for the win, allowing one hit while striking out six and walking zero. He faced just three over the minimum with 24 batters coming up to the dish. Rapp went two innings in relief, striking out five of the 10 batters he faced and surrendering the lone Huskies run.

For NIU, Joe Hawks (0-1) absorbed the loss, giving up all five runs and all seven hits across six innings of work. He struck out three and walked two. Jordan Ruckman relieved Hawks and faced one over the minimum in his two innings, striking out one and walking one. Brad Wood switched from second to the bump for the ninth and retired the Eagles in order.

With the thrill of the first game behind them, BC will retake the field against NIU on Saturday for their first twinbill of the season. First pitch of the first game is slated for 2 PM.