Baseball Falls, 3-2, in 12 to No. 3 Virginia in First of Doubleheader
March 15, 2014
Charlottesville, Va. - The Boston College baseball team lost, 3-2, to third-ranked Virginia in a 12-inning battle that lasted over four hours in the first of two games on Saturday afternoon at Davenport Field. The defense kept the Eagles (6-11, 0-5 ACC) in the game, but winning pitcher Nick Howard also tallied the game-winning RBI to give the Cavaliers (14-3, 4-1 ACC) the victory.
The Eagles held a 1-0 lead through four and a half innings before the Hoos tied the game. BC then recaptured the one-run lead in the sixth, but Virginia knotted the game for the second time in the eighth, which eventually forced extras. Back-to-back hits in the 12th earned the walk-off win for the Cavaliers.
Senior John Hennessy led the way for the Eagles at the plate, turning in a 3-for-4 performance. Junior Blake Butera was 2-for-5 with his first home run of the season, the fourth in career. It was BC's third in 2014.
BC starter redshirt sophomore LHP Andrew Chin pitched five innings, allowed just four hits, one run and walked four. He struck out four in his third straight no decision and did not allow a hit until the fourth. Junior LHP Nick Poore (0-2) shouldered the loss, coming in in the 11th and giving up two hits, one walk and the game-winning run. Relievers redshirt freshman RHP Luke Fernandes, senior LHP Steve Green, freshman RHP Bobby Skogsbergh and sophomore RHP John Nicklas did not allow a run in five innings of relief, allowing just three hits and two walks.
Virginia right-handed starter Josh Sborz also threw five innings in his start. He allowed five hits, two runs, one walk and struck out five. Right-hander Howard (1-0) pitched the final 2.1 innings, allowed two hits and struck out five. Middle reliever RHP Connor Jones went 4.2 innings, allowed just three hits, no runs or walks and struck out four.
BC outhit UVA, 10-9, and left eight men on base, while Virginia left on 14. The Eagles are now 1-2 in extra-inning games.
The Eagles were the first to strike, tallying a run in the second. Freshman Johnny Adams tallied the first hit of the game with a two-out single to right. Senior Tom Bourdon followed by lacing one down the left-field line, allowing Adams to score before he was tagged out between second and third.
In the fifth, UVA tied the game, despite the Eagles heads-up defense. Kenny Towns singled to left center, moved to second on a sac and to third on a wild pitch. With one down, Branden Cogswell grounded to second baseman Butera, who threw home and sophomore catcher Stephen Sauter tagged Towns to keep the Hoos off the board. Before BC could get out of the inning, Daniel Pinero and Mike Papi tallied back-to-back singles, plating Cogswell to tie the game. With runners at the corners, the Eagles were able to get Pinero trying to steal home as Chin threw to Butera and the second baseman threw home.
Butera put BC right back on top with a solo shot over the left-field fence to lead off the sixth. The homer was the second-lead off bomb for the Eagles in 2014 as sophomore Gabriel Hernandez did the same against Western Michigan on March 2.
Fernandes got out of the jam in the bottom of the inning to keep BC's 2-1 lead. Chin put two on with a walk and hit by pitch before Fernandes entered the game. Howard, the designed hitter at the time, moved both runner up 90 feet with a sacrifice bunt and the Eagles intentionally walked the next batter to set up the double play with one out. Fernandes used three pitches to strike out Towns for the second out and got out of the bases-loaded jam by forcing a foul fly out that third baseman Hernandez caught.
Virginia tied the game in the eighth after Green forced two outs to get the Eagles out of the seventh, stranding a runner at third. He hit lead-off batter Joe McCarthy and Skogsbergh came in to pitch. Howard moved the runner up with a sac bunt. Coman singled to left but McCarthy came around to score when sophomore leftfielder Logan Hoggarth bobbled the ball. Skogsbergh forced a fly out and Coman was doubled off first to end the inning.
Outstanding Boston College defense forced the game into extras as the Hoos threatened to put the game away. Skogsbergh hit the lead-off batter and Cogswell laid a bunt down the first-base line, beating the throw to put two on. First baseman Hennessy got the first out, charging Pinero's bunt and firing to Hernandez at third to get the lead runner. With runners on first and second, Nicklas entered the game. Hoggarth made a diving catch in left to keep the game tied and centerfielder Bourdon followed with a running catch into the centerfield wall to send the game into extras.
Hoggarth made another spectacular play in the 10th with a runner on third. On a well-hit ball to left center, Hoggarth ran it down and made a diving catch to keep the game going.
McCarthy led off the 12th with a double to deep right center off Poore and Howard plated him with a liner back up the middle, scoring the game winner.