Eagles Torch FSU In Series Finale To Avoid Sweep

April 16, 2012

By AJ Pottle

The Boston College Eagles (14-22, 5-13 ACC) defeated the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles (29-7, 16-2 ACC) on Sunday by the convincing score of 17-6 on Sunday. The Eagles were able to avoid the series sweep with the victory, after falling to the Seminoles on Friday and Saturday afternoons. The Eagles’ win was highlighted by an eight-run eighth inning, which included seven straight hits.

Taking the grunt pitches during the Eagles’ rally in the eighth was FSU relief pitcher Gage Smith. Smith, who had previously seen action in Friday and Saturday’s games, was torched by almost the entire BC lineup. Travis Ferrick, Matt McGovern, Tom Bourdon, John Hennessy, and Rob Moir all recorded RBI hits off Smith in the inning.  

“We talked about controlling the things we can control and Friday night they got the hits and we didn’t, but I thought we played really, really well,” head coach Mike Gambino said. “[Saturday] I thought we didn’t play that great for the first two innings, but then settled down and played a solid seven innings – but it wasn’t enough. [Sunday], we played nine good innings.”

Scoring early and often certainly seemed to be an area of emphasis for the Eagles, as they were able get the bats going in the first inning, scoring three runs on FSU’s starting pitcher Peter Miller. After falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first, the Eagles needed a rally to get back into the game, and found a spark with a wild pitch by Miller. Infielder Blake Butera scored on the wild pitch all the way from second, and BC was able to follow that run up with RBI singles from Marc Perdios and Matt Pare. 

“We had been having really good at bats all weekend and we hit a lot of balls really hard all weekend and couldn’t get them to fall until today,” Gambino said.  “You always want to get out early and get good at bats all game. We did that very well today.”

The Eagles’ success on Sunday came as a result of great relief pitching and a contributing bottom third of the order. Pare led the way going 3-for-4 with a walk from the eight-spot of the order. Adding to the hitting parade was Ferrick, who was able to pick up a key RBI single in the eighth inning from the nine-spot.

“Everyone knows what [Blake] Butera, [Anthony] Melchionda, [Tom] Bourdon, and [Rob] Moir can do—they’ve been doing it all year,” Gambino. said “When those guys at the bottom of the order get going we have a really good lineup.“

On Saturday, the weekend series brought another national No. 1 to Shea Field: the BC men’s ice hockey team. Before Saturday’s game, which was a 6-3 loss for the Eagles, the baseball team welcomed the National Champion hockey team to throw out the first pitches. The fan base at Eddie Pellagrini Diamond warmly welcomed Jerry York and many of the hockey players during the pre-game ceremonies.

“Anytime you can be around Coach York, that’s really cool,” Gambino said of his fellow BC coach. “Everyone knows how good of a hockey coach he is but he’s even a better guy so any time you get a chance to be around him and see how his boys play and how they represent BC, our school, and our community, is great.“

Saturday’s top performer for BC was Perdios, who went 3-for-4 in the outing, picking up two singles and a double in the fifth.

“He’s been great all year. He had to get a little healthy there a couple weeks back and he’s been really swinging the bat since,” Gambino said. “The kid plays so hard and works so hard and as a ball club we rally around him because of how hard he plays. Even his outs were hard outs.”

On Friday, the Eagles brought a 5-4 lead into the ninth inning but lost to FSU, with help from a clutch RBI by the Seminoles’ cleanup hitter Jayce Boyd.

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