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Photo courtesy of BC Birdball / Twitter

Baseball Drops Series to Virginia Tech

The Eagles recent struggles on the diamond continued this weekend, dropping a three-game set against the No.13 ranked Virginia Tech Hokies.

In what has become an unfortunate pattern this season, the last two games of the series were lost after the Eagles were unable to hold onto leads amassed in the early innings, and the Eagles left Blacksburg having lost six of their last seven.

Thursday’s game pitted BC’s Mason Pelio against VT’s Peyton Alford. Pelio, coming off a loss against Clemson last week, churned out possibly his best performance of the season, pitching 6.2 innings while allowing three earned runs and striking out five. 

Offensively, 9-hole hitter Dante Baldelli went 3-4 with a walk, and third baseman Luke Gold had another great game, adding two RBIs for the Eagles in the second. 

Catcher Peter Burns notched his second homer of the season, a solo-shot in the fifth, that would bring the Eagle's total to seven runs. This would prove to be more than enough support, as the final score ended up being 7-3 Eagles.

The second game did not fare as well for the Eagles, spoiling a masterful performance by starter Emmet Sheehan. Sheehan pitched six scoreless innings, only being pulled after giving up two runs (one unearned) in the seventh. He tallied 12 strikeouts on the day, and put the Eagles in an excellent position to win after a Peter Burns homer, a Cody Morrissette single, and a pair of Dante Baldelli hits gave the Eagles a 5-2 lead heading into the eighth. 

However, the bottom of the eighth was where it began to unravel for the Eagles. Charlie Coon pitched 1.2 innings, giving up a run and striking out three. In the bottom of the ninth Max Gieg, with a 5-3 lead, gave up three runs on a sacrifice fly and a walk off base hit to right field that ended the game 5-6.

Game three was a similar story for BC as game two, as the Eagles blew a 3-0 lead heading into the sixth in a game they would eventually drop 3-4. 

Starter Alex Stiegler pitched well through the first five innings, but surrendered back-to-back homers in the sixth that tied the game at three. 

In the eighth, Hokies third baseman Kevin Madden drew a walk off of Joe Vetrano, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored after beating a ground ball throw home. 

Despite moving Dante Baldelli into scoring position in the ninth with one out, the Eagles were unable to score the tying run, losing the game and the series. On the offensive end, center fielder Sal Frelick put up a 4-5 day, while third baseman Luke Gold contributed two hits and 2 RBIs.

The Eagles are now exactly .500 on the season and have dropped to last in the ACC Atlantic conference with a 4-11 record in conference play. 

This series was paradigmatic of the season for the Eagles, as BC was outscored 11-1 after the fifth inning this weekend by the Hokies. 

The Eagles certainly have the talent to compete at the national level, but they will have to find a way to win these close, late-inning games if they want to make some noise later this season. 

The Eagles will play a Tuesday afternoon game against the Northeastern Huskies in Brookline before welcoming the NC State Wolfpack for a three-game weekend series starting on Friday. 

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

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