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Photo Courtesy of BC Birdball / Twitter

BC Birdball Shines in Opening Series Against Northern Illinois

The Boston College baseball team traveled south to Winter Haven, Florida for a four-game series against the Northern Illinois Huskies over the weekend. The Eagles started the season on a high note, winning three out of the four games as they look to build off the late season success they experienced last year.

The Eagles took game one of the series on Friday, taking down the Huskies 7-2 with a dominant offensive performance. 

The action got started right away for BC as SS Brian Dempsey and LF Joe Suozzi got the Eagles on thee board in the bottom of the first with a home-run and RBI triple, respectively. They didn’t look back after that, adding on to the lead after Dempsey matched his career high in RBIs with four.

RHP Mason Pelio will likely take the role as team ace for the season, and on Friday, he started his season on a good note. After getting the nod for the first game of the series, Pelio tossed five innings of two-run ball and recorded four strikeouts. 

Game two was hotly contested throughout. 2B Luke Gold tied the game at 3-3 with the first home run of his collegiate career in the second inning, and sparked a five-run inning for the Eagles.

After the Huskies tied the game at five, the Eagles jumped ahead, securing an 8-6 lead late in the game. Unfortunately for BC, the Huskies took the lead in the top of the ninth inning with a four-run spurt. 

Just like last season, the fight never left the Eagles. They rallied in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at ten and then Sal Frelick stepped into the box and ripped a two-out RBI double to walk-off the Huskies, winning 11-10. 

The Eagles played again Saturday afternoon and took the third game of the series 8-5. It was another dominant offensive showing led by Frelick (2-2, 4 runs), Suozzi (2-4, 1 RBI), and 1B Jack Cunningham (3-4, 1 RBI). 

The bullpen also excelled, relieving starting RHP Joe Mancini after a difficult showing and putting up 4.2 innings of shutout ball. RHP Dan Baruch pitched 1.2 innings of work with two strikeouts. 

Yet, on Sunday for game four, the Eagles ran into trouble early. Starting RHP Emmet Sheehan didn’t last long on the mound, giving up five earned runs in 2.2 innings pitched.

The bats went quiet too, scoring their lowest total in the series thanks to some stellar pitching from Huskies’ RHP Erik Hedmark. Hedmark went six innings and gave up just two runs on six hits. 

The Eagles ultimately dropped game four, losing 12-3. It was the Eagles' first loss to the Huskies in nine games.

Moving forward, BC Birdball sets their sights on eighth-ranked Arizona State in Phoenix this weekend. It will be a tough test to see how good of a squad this team can be in the early going.

Be sure to follow @BCGavelSports for all of the latest updates on Boston College athletics.

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