On a weekend that featured the Eighth Annual ALS Awareness Game, the Eagles lost two out of three games at home to a very talented No. 25 Duke team. Despite a great start to the series with a Friday victory, BC fell in both double-header games this past Saturday.
Pitching was the story for BC in Friday’s 5-0 shutout win. Senior lefthander Dan Metzdorf pitched eight spectacular shutout innings as BC improved to a .500 record on the season (22-22). Metzdorf improved to 5-2 on the season, striking out nine batters, walking none, and allowing seven hits.
Ben Gross had a respectable outing for the Blue Devils, but could not get any run support. Over 6.1 innings, he gave up no walks, but allowed nine hits and four runs (all earned) and struck out just one batter. He fell to 3-5 on the season with the loss.
Metzdorf gave up extra-base hits in each of the first three innings, but escaped trouble each time. He impressively recorded three strikeouts in the first inning around a one-out double by Kennie Taylor.
BC got on the board with a two-out rally in the third inning. Left fielder Chris Galland legged out a triple to right center to get in scoring position. He scored after leadoff man Jake Alu singled.
With the hit, Alu extended his career-best reached base streak to 16 games and his hitting streak to 8 games. He finished with three hits in another great performance.
The Eagles scored insurance runs in the seventh inning with four hits. A double from Jack Cunningham and single from DH Gian Martellini gave BC runners on the corners with no outs. Center fielder Dante Baldelli doubled and Galland singled to score three runs in the frame.
BC tacked on one more run in the eighth inning. Brain Dempsey hit a double down the right field line to score Sal Frelick.
Weather concerns for Sunday’s game meant that the Eighth Annual ALS Awareness Game was played as a double-header. Game two of the series and Game one of the doubleheader did not go as well as the opening game.
The Eagles lost 4-1 in a game they will be kicking themselves over. They had five hits to the Blue Devils’ three, but could not capitalize on offensive leaving seven runners on base and making three costly errors on defense.
Mason Pelio was on the mound for BC and took the loss (4-3) despite an outstanding outing. Through 6.1 innings, the freshman right-hander gave up just two hits, struck out four batters, walked three batters, and allowed four runs (only one earned). He had a stretch of retiring 13 batters in a row and 15 out of 16 between the second and sixth innings.
Duke took an early lead as they scored three runs in the first inning off three BC errors. Two of the three runs scored came with two outs. An unfortunate fielding error at first base by Jack Cunningham scored runners from second and third before the inning was over.
Cunningham redeemed himself in the sixth inning with a leadoff home run to center to get BC on the board.
Pelio’s only earned run given up came in the seventh inning. Duke responded as Wil Hoyle scored from a sacrifice fly.
One of the few positives from the game was that Alu continued his hitting streak, matching a career-best at nine games.
Game three of the series, the second game of the double-header, was dominated by Duke 8-0. They put in strong offensive showing as BC continued to leave runners on base, a recurring theme on Saturday afternoon.
John Witkowski got the start for the Eagles and gave up three hits in two scoreless innings before being replaced by Joey Walsh. Walsh suffered the loss (3-6), giving up four hits, two runs (both earned), and two walks, while striking out two batters.
Freshman Cooper Stinson got the start for Duke. He pitched four scoreless innings, striking out six, and yielding three hits and four walks. Bryce Jarvis (3-0) picked up the win after coming in to relieve him.
The game went scoreless until the fourth inning when Erikson Nichols singled to score Ethan Murray. The Blue Devils tacked on another run in the fifth and two more in the sixth before the sealing the game with a three-run eighth.
Kennie Taylor ripped a RBI triple to score the first run in the eight. Matt Mervis brought Taylor home with a sacrifice fly in the next at-bat. A few at-bats later, Michael Rothenberg slapped a RBI single into left field to make the score 8-0.
While losses to strong teams like Duke happen, BC came out of a special weekend for ALS Awareness with many positives.
The pitching was great for the Eagles across the series, but the defense and offense still has room for improvement. Despite a win in game one, the Eagles will regret the errors in game two and be left wondering if they could have taken the series with less sloppy play.
The offense also failed to come up in key situations throughout the weekend. The Eagles went 0-15 with runners in scoring position on Saturday.
After the weekend and a brief flirtation with a .500 record, BC now sits at 22-24 and 8-16 in the ACC. Duke improved to 27-17 and 13-11 in ACC play.
Up next, the Eagles move on to play Rhode Island on Tuesday, April 30 at 3:30 p.m. They'll be back at home for a game against Harvard on Wednesday afternoon.
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