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Baseball Finishes Season-Opening Road Trip at 6-2

March 10, 1999

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The Boston College baseball team finished its season-opening trip to Fort Myers, Florida with a 6-2 record. In addition to their collegiate games, the Eagles dropped a heartbreaker to the Boston Red Sox, 4-3, on March 5.

Boston College led the Red Sox, 3-1, in the fourth inning after a two-run home run by freshman Brian Macchi. A two-run triple gave the Red Sox a 4-3 lead but did not end the Eagles' hopes. After senior co-captain Sonny Nictakis and freshman Scott Foley reached base, senior first baseman Sean McGowan stepped into the batter box. With two outs and the game on the line, the powerful McGowan grounded out.

In their regular-season games, the Eagles were led by a potent offense that managed a .432 batting average (143-for-331) and 15 home runs. McGowan led the offense with six round-trippers, three doubles and two triples in eight games. McGowan collected 21 hits in 36 at bats (.583) and drove in a team-high 20 runs. His outstanding effort earned him Co-BIG EAST Player of the Week honors.

Center fielder Jarett Mendoza engineered the offense from the leadoff position. The sophomore batted .531 (17-for-32) and scored 12 runs. Macchi batted .625 with two doubles. The outfielder provided the highlight of the trip with his home run against the Red Sox.

Helping on the mound and at the plate was junior Stephen Langone. Langone hit .484 (15-for-31) with one home run and three doubles. The designated hitter was equally impressive on the hill. He carried a 2.77 earned run average while hurling a team-high 13 innings. Langone struck out 16 and walked only two batters.

The Eagles opened the season with a 23-11 rout of Valparaiso on March 1. Langone was the star, going 3-for-4 at the plate and pitching 6.0 innings to earn the win. BC jumped out to an early lead with five runs in the first inning, helped by junior third baseman Eric Olson's two-run home run.

BC opened the next day with a, 9-8, 10-inning win against Dayton. The Eagles trailed 8-3 after six innings, before they mounted their comeback. Langone went two-for-six with three RBIs. Paul Bibbo earned his first win of the season, pitching five innings and allowing three runs.

St. Bonaventure ruined BC's perfect record with a 11-8 win later that afternoon. McGowan smacked four hits and drove in three runs in the loss. The Eagles rebounded with a 23-0 drubbing of the Milwaukee College of Engineering on March 3. Sophomores Chris Gannon and Greg Doble combined for a two-hit shut out. Langone, McGowan and Olson all had one home run, while freshman Jeff Mackor knocked two round-trippers.

The 3-1 Eagles continued their offensive assault with a 20-4 win against Valparaiso on March 3. Junior Andy Sullivan earned the win, allowing one earned run in five innings. Mendoza and McGowan both collected four hits. McGowan added two home runs and six RBIs. Freshman Mark Sullivan pitched 2.0 scoreless innings, fanning one, in his collegiate debut.

Valparaiso avenged its two losses with a 16-8 win against BC on March 4. The Eagles led 3-0 after the first inning, but trailed the rest of the way. Mendoza went 4-for-4 in the leadoff position.

Boston College used strong pitching to capture two victories in their final day of action at Terry Park. The Eagles scored in six of the seven innings played en route to a 15-2 rout of Saginaw Valley State on March 6. Langone pitched a complete game, striking out nine, for his second win of the season. McGowan went 3-for-3 and hammered his sixth home run of the week to lead the Eagles. Sophomore left fielder Joe Kealty went 3-for-3 with two RBIs.

BC improved to 6-2 with a 5-1 win against Baldwin-Wallace. The Eagles continued their early-game dominance with four first-inning runs. Junior David Conley hurled six innings, allowing one run, to earn the win. McGowan went 3-for-3 with two RBI.

Boston College will return to action when they face Stonehill at 3 p.m. on March 17 at BC's Commander Shea Field.

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