Late Inning Rallies Propel BC Past No. 24 Clemson, 7-6
March 15, 2008
CLEMSON, S.C. - Boston College (8-7, 2-3 ACC) scored three runs in the eighth and two runs in the ninth to defeat Clemson (9-6, 1-4 ACC) 7-6, Saturday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Michael Belfiore led the Eagles offensively. The sophomore first baseman went 3-for-5 with a double and four RBIs to help BC capture its second straight win against the Tigers. His two-run double in the ninth proved to be the difference in the victory.
Four other starters posted multi-hit games in Barry Butera (2-for-5; one run scored), Tony Sanchez (2-for-5; solo home run), Eric Campbell (2-for-4; three runs scored) and Garret Smith (2-for-4; one RBI) as the Eagles pounded out 12 hits on the afternoon.
Right-handed starter Dan Houston went 6.0 innings and allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits with four strikeouts and did not figure in the decision.
Left-handed Clemson reliever Casey Harman (0-1) was saddled with the loss. D.J. Mitchell worked the first 7.1 innings for the Tigers and allowed three earned runs on seven hits with six strikeouts.
The Tigers put two runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first when Ben Paulsen and Jeff Schaus hit consecutive two-out RBI doubles to give Clemson an early 2-0 lead.
Clemson increased its lead, 3-0, in the bottom of the second on a RBI single by Wilson Boyd.
In the top of the third, the Eagles scored two runs of Clemson starter D.J. Mitchell. Sanchez put BC on the scoreboard with a solo home run to left field, his second of the series. Campbell followed with a walk and then stole second base. He scored with two outs on a RBI single to center field by Belfiore to cut into the Tigers' lead, 3-2.
BC tacked on two runs in the top of the eighth to take its first lead of the ball game. Campbell started the rally with a one out double to left-center field. Pinch hitter Ryan Akel followed by reaching first on an error. Belfiore then executed a hit-and-run to the right side for a RBI single to plate Campbell and move pinch runner Sam Shaughnessy to third base. After Clemson reliever Matt Vaughn struck out Mike Augustine, Smith hit a RBI single to score Shaughnessy, to give the Eagles the 4-3 advantage.
The Eagles added three more runs in the top of the ninth. Butera and Matt Hamlet led off the inning with back-to-back base hits. After Sanchez popped up to the catcher, Campbell hit a deep fly ball to center field that Clemson outfielder Wilson Boyd could not handle, which allowed Butera to score. After a Shaughnessy strikeout, Belfiore hit a two-out two-run double off the right-center field fence to put BC on top, 7-3.
Clemson would not go quietly in the ninth as the Tigers pushed across three runs, before Kowalski shut the door for the Eagles 7-6 victory.
BC will attempt for a three-game sweep of Clemson on Sunday at 1 p.m.