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Baseball Wins Season Opener, 5-3, Over No. 17 Virginia

Sophomore Tom Bourdon

Sophomore Tom Bourdon

Feb. 17, 2012

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b>Conway, S.C. - The Boston College baseball team earned an opening-day victory, beating 17th-ranked Virginia, 5-3, at the Caravelle Resort Tournament hosted by Coastal Carolina. Sophomore right-hander Eric Stevens tallied the win for the Eagles (1-0) and junior righty Hunter Gordon earned the save, pitching the ninth.

Right-hander Branden Kline recorded the loss for the Cavaliers (0-1). Stevens went 6.0 innings allowed seven hits, three runs, one walk and struck out one. Gordon tallied a strikeout in the save.

Sophomore Tom Bourdon led the team, going 3-for-5 on the day, nailing a double. Senior Anthony Melchionda went 2-for-4, also hitting a double and recording an RBI. The Eagles outhit the Cavaliers, 9-8.

Down three, the Eagles took the lead with a four-run, fourth inning. Senior Spenser Payne blasted a three-run home run to give BC a 4-3 lead after the Eagles scored on a passed ball. Bourdon led off with a double to center while junior Matt Paré walked. Both runners moved up on a two-out passed ball. Sophomore Andrew Lawrence reached on a third-strike passed ball, which would have ended the inning, but Bourdon's base running helped BC tally its first run. Payne then blasted one over the left-center field fence, giving the Eagles the one-run advantage.

The Cavaliers struck first, scoring two in the bottom of the second. Mike Papi hit a leadoff single and moved to second on a balk. After Jared King drew a walk, Paré dove for a pop-up bunt off the bat of Reed Gragnani, but could not come up with it, loading the bases. Designed hitter Derek Fisher grounded to first, scoring Papi, as the Eagles tallied the first out of the inning. Nate Irving laid a bunt down the first-base line to score the second UVA run. Stevens forced two fly balls to right to end the inning.

UVA added a run in the third with two outs and runner on first. With the hit and run on, King laced one to center. Bourdon jumped and got his glove on it, but could not hold on, allowing the third Virginia run to cross the plate on the RBI triple.

Up by one, BC added a run to its lead in the fifth, as junior Matt McGovern drew a lead-off walk and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Bourden singled to right, advancing McGovern to third and Melchionda drove him in on a bloop single. The fifth BC run chased Kline from the game and Kyle Crockett came on in relief. The lefty retired the side with a swinging strikeout and a line drive double-play ball to short.

In the bottom of the inning, with runners on first and second and one out, Stevens struck out Colin Harrington swinging and forced Chris Taylor to ground out to shortstop Melchionda to preserve the lead.

Senior left-hander Bayuk came on in relief of Stevens to start to the seventh and delivered by retiring the side, striking out one. Senior righty Matt Brazis came on in the eighth and after allowing a single, settled in to force three straight outs, including a swinging strikeout.

Gordon retired the side in the ninth on two groundouts and a four-pitch at bat to pinch hitter Nick Howard, getting the Cavalier to go down on swings.

The Eagles return to action tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 18, to play James Madison at Charles Watson Stadium. The game time has been changed to 10 a.m.

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