It was BC over NC State in the 2017 edition of the ALS game at Fenway Park.
An emotional afternoon for two teams that were there for two reasons. First, they were trying to bring attention to a terrible disease in ALS. Second, there was a ballgame to win.
Backed by strong starting pitching from Sophomore Jacob Stevens, to go along with a 16 hits attack, the Eagles took game one of this series 8-3 over North Carolina State before a crowd of 3,603.
BC Head Coach Mike Gambino liked what he saw from his team and who could blame him. After Stevens struck out two of the first three hitters he faced in the first, the Eagle bats went to work against Wolfpack starter Sean Alder in the bottom of the inning.
Leadoff hitter Donovan Casey got things started with a single to CF and he would steal second ahead of a walk to Jake Palomaki. Alder got the next two batters and looked to be getting out of the frame, but Mitch Bigras came through with an infield hit to score Casey. Then Jake Allu followed with a RBI base hit to RF to bring home Palomaki. North Carolina State Head Coach Elliott Avent brought a quick hook with him to the mound, out was Adler in was Johnny Piedmonte who gave up a two-run RBI hit to the first man he faced in Jacob Yish 4-0 Eagles after one.
Stevens settled in retiring the first nine hitters he faced. After the game, he said a “good game plan was put together” also saying he had been working with the coaches on throwing strike one. His final line of 6.2 IP 8 hits and 3 runs earned was good but what really stood out was throwing 90 pitches with 63 for strikes.
NC State did push across a run in the fifth, and two more in the sixth before the Eagles bullpen of John Witkowski and Donovan Casey shut down the Wolfpack offense. Gambino said afterward he “really wanted to get Stevens through seven innings.
Boston College put the game away with another four-run inning, this time in the sixth. They got some help in scoring those runs thanks to two throwing errors by relief pitcher Joe O’Donnell who threw wild to first base on a slow comebacker off the bat of Casey and then did the same thing on a sac bunt attempt by Palomaki. The mistakes contributed to the four runs BC scored as they would get run-scoring hits from Michael Strem and Gian Martellini.
With the win, the Eagles improved to 4-15 in league play and 13-22 overall. State drops to 8-11 in conference and 20-18. The two teams needed to get their rest as a doubleheader is set for Sunday beginning at 10:30 in the morning.