The Holy War hit the diamond this weekend. Birdball dropped two of three to No. 10 Notre Dame in Brighton, capped off by a stunning Notre Dame comeback in game three.
Boston College got off to a shaky start in its game one win on Friday, as Notre Dame loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the first. BC starting pitcher Emmet Sheehan fanned the next three batters to keep Notre Dame off the board and the game even.
After that early scare, Boston College’s offense took over. In the third inning, designated hitter Ramon Jimenez hit a three-run homer to right field against Notre Dame starting pitcher Will Mercer to extend BC’s lead to 5-0.
Birdball put it away in the fifth after Will Mercer was taken out for Mitch Megias with runners at first and third and no outs. Ramon Jimenez struck again with an RBI single, followed by a two-RBI single from right fielder Dante Baldelli. After another pitching change, catcher Peter Burns sent Jimenez home with an RBI double down the left field line, extending BC’s lead to 9-0.
Game one ended with a final score of 10-0. Sheehan pitched six innings, striking out 10 batters along the way, and extending his record to 4-3 on the season. Reliever Joe Vetrano finished the shutout in a dominant team win for Birdball, which gave BC its first home win in a month.
Mason Pelio got the start for Birdball in its loss in the first game of Saturday’s double-header. In the first, the Irish scored on a fly-ball and then on a delayed steal, as the runner at third base, Ryan Cole, beat the play from second base to score. The Irish recorded another run on an RBI single in the third, bringing their lead to 3-0.
After that rough start to the day, Pelio went the next four innings without surrendering a run, before making way for Will Hesslink in the seventh, who walked his first batter before being replaced by Joe Mancini.
Boston College finally broke through in the bottom of the seventh, as first baseman Jack Cunningham and third baseman Vince Cimini picked up an RBI each on a couple of groundouts to second, closing the deficit to just one run.
However, Notre Dame delivered a knockout blow in the ninth inning when Irish first baseman Niko Kavadas launched a two-run shot to center field, making the final score 5-2 in favor of the Irish.
With the series on the line in the second game of the double-header, Notre Dame pulled off a shocking comeback in the eighth inning.
BC starting pitcher Alex Stiegler had an electric outing, giving up only six hits and one run across seven innings. BC also got it done on offense, highlighted by a four-RBI night from Dante Baldelli.
By the top of the eighth inning, Birdball’s lead was sitting at a comfortable 9-1. Stiegler was taken out and the Irish proceeded to score 12 runs on only five hits.
Four pitchers appeared for BC in the inning as Notre Dame scored on a solo home run, a three-run home run by shortstop Zack Prajzner, an error, two walks, a two-RBI fielder’s choice as BC failed to get its third out at second or first, a home plate steal, and a two-RBI ground-rule double. The final score was a heartbreaking 13-9.
The series against Notre Dame brings the Eagles' record to 16-21 on the season.
Birdball will certainly be looking to erase all memory of its collapse in game three as it goes into a single home game against Holy Cross on Tuesday before its next ACC series against Miami at home this week.
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