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Boston College Baseball: Birdball Up To 6-0 After Saturday Sweep

Doubleheader sweep for Eagles continues best start since 2009.

BC Athletics

Freshman Jacob Stevens threw six innings of near-shutout baseball, and Mike King pitches 6.2 innings of solid ball of his own as the Boston College Eagles swept a Saturday doubleheader against Chicago State and Indiana State at the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Florida. The Eagles defeated the Cougars 7-1 in a morning game before upending the Sycamores, 5-3, in the afternoon cap.

Playing before noon for the first time in 2016, the Eagles broke a 0-0 tie in the fourth inning with five runs. Joe Cronin led off the inning with a walk, moving up to second on a stolen base after Stephen Sauter flew out to left field. He scored from second when Gian Martellini singled to left center, giving BC a 1-0 lead.

Martellini advanced to third during the next batter, when Logan Hoggarth grounded into an error at short that put him on second. After Gabriel Hernandez walked to load the bases, Jake Palomaki drove in Martellini with a sacrifice fly to right, making it 2-0. Two batters later, with the bases reloaded after Johnny Adams walked, Michael Strem hit a fly to right center that cleared the bases when right fielder Zack Thomas collided with centerfielder David Wright.

Chicago State scored one in the fifth to cut the lead to 5-1 when they manufactured a run against Stevens. Joe Baier led off with a double to left, then was bunted over to third to put a runner on third. Julian Russell drew a one-out walk, putting runners at the corners, and the run scored when Russell took off for second. On the stolen base attempt, Sauter, who was behind the plate, threw it high, and Baier scored from third.

The Cougars gifted another run in the sixth when Johnny Adams hit a fly to right that Thomas dropped, scoring Hernandez from second, and Cronin scored in the seventh on an RBI single by Martellini after he walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch.

Stevens earned his second win of the year in his six innings of work, giving up just the one unearned run on four hits while striking out six and walking three. Bobby Skogsbergh, Kevin Connor, and Jack Nelson combined for the final three innings to push the Eagles to victory. They did not allow a baserunner with Connor striking out two.

Against the Sycamores, it was more defense for BC combined with timely offense. BC took a 2-0 lead in the second inning after scoring one in the first. In the first, Johnny Adams singled to give BC their first runner, then scored from second when Donovan Casey hit him home, extending his hitting streak to 12 games in the process. In the second, Hoggarth stroked a single to center and scored on base hits by Nick Sciortino and Gabriel Hernandez.

Indiana State didn't go away quietly, scoring two in the top of the third with the first earned runs allowed by BC's starting pitching this season. King walked Andrew Guiterrez and Tyler Friis to put two on with two out, and Hunter Owen doubled them both home to tie the game.

But BC responded back in the bottom of the inning with two of their own. Michael Strem singled to center to lead things off, then moved up a bag on a wild pitch. After Casey singled on an infield hit, Cronin laid down a bunt single to score Strem, giving the Eagles a 3-2 lead. Casey would score later in the inning when Hoggarth grounded out to score a run.

They tacked on their fifth run in the fourth inning when Michael Strem singled home Palomaki.

King worked into the seventh inning, running into a jam after Kaden Moore singled and Andy DeJesus drew a one-out walk. With two on and one out, King recorded a second out, but Mike Gambino went to his bullpen after that, bringing in lefty Dan Metzdorf to face Dane Giesler. Giesler, a lefty himself, almost made the Eagles pay for the move, driving a hit to center.

But as Moore tried to score from second, an incredibly intelligent play by shortstop Johnny Adams kept the Sycamores off the board. Michael Strem hit the cut-off, and Adams chose to go to third, firing a bullet to Hernandez, who applied the tag to DeJesus. Moore failed to cross the plate in time, keeping Indiana State off theboard.

Justin Dunn came on for the ninth, surrendering a run with two outs on an RBI single by Chris Ayers, but he closed the door after the run scored to lock down his first save of the year.

On the hill, King earned the victory to improve to 2-0, striking out three and walking two while giving up two runs on four hits. Metzdorf recorded the one out he needed to, giving up just that hit to Geisler. Dunn threw the last two innings for the save, striking out two and surrendering a run on four hits.

Ryan Keaffaber took the loss for Indiana State.

Now 6-0 for the first time since the 2009 season, the Eagles will go for the weekend sweep on Sunday afternoon when they take on former rival Villanova at 2 PM.