BC loses in a rout and as difficult as this might be to believe, it took twelve thousand miles of travel before they finally had a chance to play at home. While being home is always a good thing, on Saturday the Eagles had a hard time settling in. The pitching staff gave up 12 hits, 10 walks, and four home runs on the way to a 17-7 thumping at the hands #4 North Carolina Tar Heels.
Carolina scored in five of the nine innings played and they had only one frame in which the Tar Heels went down in order and that was with the help of a double play ball hit by Ashton McGee. For a game that was billed as a good pitching matchup between BC’s Jacob Stevens and UNC’s J. B. Bukauskas, was anything but.
Carolina struck first in the second inning when light-hitting first baseman Michael Busch came through with a two-out two run single up the middle to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. Boston College answered those runs with a two-spot of their own in the bottom of the frame with a sacrifice fly by Jake Alu followed by a fielder’s choice by Brian Dempsey that tied the game at 2-2.
The fourth inning was one of three big innings UNC would have on the afternoon. A four spot was put on the board with the big blow coming off the bat of Logan Warmoth who took a Stevens fastball and crushed it over the left center wall for his sixth of the season, 4-2 Carolina.
On most afternoons the early lead should have been a sign of trouble after all the Eagles were facing the Tar Heels #1 starter in Bukauskas who came into this game with an ERA of under 1.00. But this would not be just another day as Bukauskas struggled himself giving the lead up in the bottom of the inning. BC put up a five spot thanks to a bases loaded walk from Anthony Maselli and a two-run single to center by leadoff hitter Donovan Casey. When the dust settled, the Eagles had a 7-6 advantage. The inning also featured the scary moment of the day when BC catcher Gian Martellini was hit on the side of the helmet from a fastball that got away from Bukauskas. Martellini stayed on the ground for a few minutes before being helped to the dugout holding a towel to the side of his face.
Carolina tied the game in the fifth on a solo home run by Kyle Datres to center field number four on the campaign. UNC then went to work on the Eagles bullpen after knocking Stevens out of the game. They would tack on ten runs over the next two innings, a seven-run outburst in the sixth which featured two booming home runs, the first a two-run shot off the bat of Brian Miller off of Stevens for Miller his fourth of the year. Then the Eagle pen was called into action with no luck, three pitchers were used to get the final two outs of the inning, but not before walks and a grand slam HR by Zack Gahagan of Matt Gill to left field his fourth of the year busted the game wide open at 14-7 Tar Heels.
They would add three more in the seventh to make the final score 17-7, as walks and base hits did the damage. What became somewhat lost in the offensive explosion by UNC was the solid relief pitching they got from Rodney Hutchison who came on in the fifth and shut down the Eagle bats with four innings of two-hit ball, striking out five in the process and getting his fourth win of the season.
Jacob Stevens was the losing hurler giving up nine hits and eleven runs nine of which were earned in an outing he would just as soon forget.
The loss puts NC’s record at 24-6 and 10-3 in the ACC. For the Eagles, they are now 9-18 and 1-12.
Both teams get right back at it on Sunday as they will play two starting at 11:30 in the morning.
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