Baseball Grabs Series Finale at Duke in Extras, 7-6
April 26, 2009
DURHAM, N.C. - Junior Robbie Anston brought home the game-winning run in the top of the 11th inning and classmate Mike Belfiore pitched 5.0 innings to pick up the win as the Boston College baseball team won the series finale at Duke, 7-6, on Sunday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field.
Duke had the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th against Belfiore but couldn't cash in a walk-off run. Brian Litwin sliced a double into the gap in right to leadoff the frame and he got over to third on a sac bunt. Belfiore got Gabriel Saade to groundout to third with the infield in for the second out. BC elected to intentionally walk the next two batters (Matt Williams and Nate Freiman) to bring up Tom Luciano who was brought in to pinch run in the ninth inning.
Belfiore overpowered him with a 92 MPH fastball at the letters to get out of the jam and force another inning.
Sophomore Matt Hamlet singled to center to leadoff the top of the 11th and then stole second easily to put himself in scoring position. Junior John Spatola sacrificed him over to third base and then freshman Brad Zapenas walked to put runners on the corners with one out.
Anston did his job and got the run in from third with a sac fly to left to put the game-winning run on the board, 7-6. Belfiore retired the side in order in the bottom half to finish the game.
BC scored its first six runs with home runs. Sophomore Mike Sudol hit two solo shots while junior Tony Sanchez, sophomore Mickey Wiswall and redshirt freshman Andrew Lawrence each had one apiece. Wiswall, Sudol and Hamlet each had two hits in the game while Wiswall and Sudol had a pair of RBI.
Sophomore Pat Dean had a strong outing on the mound, going 5.1 innings and allowing five runs - four earned - on seven hits. All five runs came in the third inning. Belfiore worked a career-high 5.0 innings and allowed one run on five hits to pick up the win.
The Eagles wasted no time getting on the board in the opening frame. Alex Hassan retired the first two batters quickly and then on a full count, he plunked Sanchez in the hand with a fastball. Wiswall stepped to the plate and made Duke pay, uncorking on the first pitch he saw and hitting it over the wall in right-center to put BC up 2-0.
Sudol added a run to the lead when he turned on a 1-1 fastball and took it to the same spot Wiswall did to leadoff the second inning.
Lawrence got in on the action in the third inning when he unloaded on an 0-2 fastball that traveled well out of the park in right to extend the lead to 4-0.
Duke posted five runs in the bottom of the third to take its only lead of the game. Ryan McCurdy was hit by a pitch to leadoff and then Saade bunted himself on with a single to put the first two batters of the inning on base. Williams then singled to load the bases with nobody out to bring Freiman, Duke's leader in home runs, to the plate. He delivered, hitting an opposite field grand slam to tie the game with one swing of the bat.
Jeremy Gould and Hassan followed up with consecutive singles and then with one out, the bases were loaded again due to a fielding error. Joe Pedevillano got the last run home with a sac fly to right.
Duke's lead didn't last long though as Sudol delivered his second solo shot off of the scoreboard in right in the next half inning to tie the game, 5-5.
After three and a half scoreless innings, the teams traded solo home runs to make the score 6-6. Sanchez broke the tie in the eighth when he crushed a 3-0 fastball that was a no-doubter, clearing the wall in left and putting the Eagles back on top, 6-5.
The Blue Devils (29-17, 12-12 ACC) tied it right back up in the bottom half of the inning when Will Currier came on to pinch hit and delivered an opposite field solo home run to lead off and tie the game, 6-6, setting up the Eagles' extra innings triumph.
Williams went 5-for-5 for Duke at the plate while Saade and Gould both added two hits each.
BC (26-17, 11 ACC) will head into the home stretch of the regular season on Tuesday when it hosts Quinnipiac at 3 p.m. The game against the Bobcats marks the start of an 11-game home stand to close out the regular season.