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Photo courtesy of BC Birdball / Twitter

Birdball Drops Two Against No. 14 UNC

The Eagles dropped a three-game home series against the UNC Tarheels this weekend, losing two out of the three games. The series was marked by two lopsided-scoring games, followed by a nail-biting Game Three that UNC was able to edge out in the ninth. 

The Eagles have now lost five of their last six games against ACC opponents.

The first inning of Game One saw the Tarheels score three runs, courtesy of a three-run home run off of Mason Pelio. It was a lead they would hold on to, as the Eagles were unable to get much going offensively for the rest of the day. 

Aside from a solid eighth inning that saw the Eagles string together a few timely hits, including a Luke Gold home run, the Eagles scored just one run the rest of the game while giving up nine in total. Tarheel pitcher Austin Love pitched seven scoreless frames, giving up just six hits and one unearned run. 

The single bright spot for the Eagles on Friday was potential team MVP Luke Gold, who had a stellar outing going 4-4 with an RBI and a run. The final score was 9-3.

The second game fared much better for the Eagles, as they were able to virtually flip Friday’s score and win 10-3. Despite scoring two runs in the bottom of the first, the game remained close until the seventh, when the Eagles increased their lead to 3-1. 

It was then that the offense exploded for seven runs in the bottom half of the frame. A combination of solid at bats resulting in walks and timely hitting produced an insurmountable lead that proved to be the difference in the game. 

Shortstop Brian Dempsey had a solid game, going 3-5 with three RBIs and two runs, and Luke Gold added another home run to bring him to eight on the season. First baseman Jack Cunningham also went 3-5 with three RBIs, and starting pitcher Emmet Sheehan pitched seven innings of one-run ball while striking out eight. 

With the series knotted up at one game a piece, Game Three proved to be a thrilling battle against these ACC opponents. 

The Eagles relinquished an early lead, but rallied in the bottom of the fifth after the ejection of manager Mike Gambino to tie the game at four. 

The following frames remained scoreless, and the two teams entered the ninth inning all tied up. With Joey Walsh on the mound, who had allowed just one earned run in his last eight innings, Tarheel shortstop and cleanup hitter Danny Serretti roped a triple to right-center field to knock in a run and give UNC a lead they would hold on to. 

Center fielder Sal Frelick continued his hot start to the year, going 3-4 and playing a role in all four of BC’s runs. 

Aside from a rough fourth inning from Max Grieg, the pitching was solid as well. Excluding the fourth inning, the Eagles gave up just two earned runs on five hits. 

Despite the heartbreaking loss, the Eagles played well against a perennial powerhouse in college baseball, showing that their hot start to the season has not been a fluke. If things can click for the Eagles, they could very well see themselves competing for a national title in Omaha. 

The Eagles are ranked No. 21 in the nation and will look to get back on track in ACC play next weekend against Clemson. You can watch the game right here on Brighton Campus. 

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