Baseball's Run Ends With 4-3 Loss To Army
May 31, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas - The Boston College baseball team battled for nine more innings after a seven hour marathon on Saturday night, but Army came away with a 4-3 win on Sunday afternoon in front of 4,869 fans at UFCU Disch-Falk Field.
The loss ends the season for the Eagles, who finished with a record of 34-26 and advanced to its first NCAA Championship since 1967.
"Obviously, a heart-breaking loss to finish what was otherwise a really good season for us," head coach Mik Aoki said. "It was a breakthrough season for us, both in the conference and nationally. Obviously, it's disappointing. When you get into the NCAA Championships, at the very end of it, there's really only one team that's happy. Unfortunately, this ride came to an end a little bit sooner than we had expected. But we certainly got our share of baseball in while we were down here. We'll look forward to building this momentum and getting back into this type of thing where we're annually in the NCAA and ACC tournaments. We'll continue to build the program from here."
Sophomore Matt Hamlet went 3-for-5 in the game while four other players had two this apiece. Juniors Robbie Anston, Tony Sanchez and John Spatola drove in BC's three runs. Sanchez and Spatola both had two hits while Spatola recorded a double.
Sophomore John Leonard was saddled with the loss after throwing 6.1 innings and allowing four runs on seven hits. He struck out three and walked three.
BC got on the board first in the top of the second with two runs. Junior Barry Butera walked to lead off the inning and after being stranded there for the next two outs, Spatola ripped a double down the line in right to bring Butera all the way around to score. Anston then got another two-out RBI when he singled up the middle to put BC up 2-0.
The Black Knights broke through in the fourth for a single run. Kevin McKague got things going with a leadoff double and moved to third on a wild pitch. Leonard retired Ben Koenigsfeld on a come-backer but J.P. Polchinski got a hold of a 2-2 pitch and sent it to the gap in left for an RBI double to cut the lead in half.
Army pushed across two more in the fifth to take its first lead of the game. Price got an infield single to leadoff the frame and Ernesto moved him up to second with a sac bunt. Moore got the second infield single of the inning in the hole on the left side to put runners on the corners. Moore stole second to put a pair in scoring position and then Henshaw sliced a double to the wall in left to give Army a 3-2 lead.
BC tied the game in the top of the seventh with a run. Spatola drew a leadoff walk and stole second to get himself into scoring position. With two outs in the inning, Sanchez pulled a single through the left side for the game-tying run.
Army got the run back in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead. Identical to the fifth inning, Price singled to the opposite field and Ernesto moved him up 90 feet with a sac bunt. Moore walked to put two men on and a fly out to center put runners on the corners with two outs. McKague stepped to the plate and delivered a single to center to put Army back on top, 4-3.
BC threatened in the ninth but couldn't force another frame. Spatola led off with a single up the middle and Anston moved the tying run into scoring position with a sac bunt. Hamlet ripped a single to right to put runners on the corners and then Sanchez was hit in the forearm to load the bases with one out.
Sophomore Mickey Wiswall then chopped a ball to the shortstop. Army got the force at second and then fired to first to turn the double play on a bang-bang play.
The Black Knights (36-20) move on to face Texas in the first championship game at 6 p.m. on Sunday. They were led by Price who went 2-for-3 with two runs and McKague who went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run. Henshaw also drove in a pair of runs.
Kirk Porter went 6.2 innings and allowed three runs on 10 hits. He walked two and struck out six. Tyler Anderegg earned the win in relief and McKague picked up his seventh save of the year.