SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Boston College Eagles baseball team earned the series win over Santa Clara with a 3-1 victory bolstered by the pitching staff on Sunday afternoon at Stephen Schott Stadium. Senior right-handed starter Brian Rapp threw six hitless innings and struck out a career-high 10. He allowed just two baserunners with one walk and one hit by pitch to help the Eagles (2-1) to victory.
The combination of juniors RHP Sean Hughes, LHP Zach Stromberg and RHP Thomas Lane finished the game, allowing just one run, with no walks and striking out four. Lane recorded his first career save, throwing the final 1.2 innings with three straight Ks.
Sophomore Dante Baldelli led the way at the plate for the Eagles, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. He recorded six hits, four RBIs and two runs in the three-game set.
The Eagles return to action on Thursday, Feb. 22 with the 27th exhibition game against the Red Sox in Ft. Myers, Fla.
Score: Boston College 3, Santa Clara 1
Records: Boston College (2-1) at Santa Clara (1-2)
Series: BC wins the series, 2-1
Location: Stephen Scott Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
- Senior RHP Brian Rapp threw six scoreless innings without allowing a hit or run. He recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts and after allowing walk to start the game, retired the next 13 straight hitters to earn his first win of the season. The only other baserunner was a hit batter in the fifth. Rapp got Jake Brodt, who homered three times on Saturday, to strike out twice.
- Sophomore Dante Baldelli recorded two hits in the game and added an RBI. In the weekend series, the center fielder tallied six hits, four RBIs, two runs, a walk and a stolen base.
- Junior RHP Thomas Lane entered the game in the eighth with the bases loaded and was able to get the Eagles out of the jam. He retired all five batters he faced, struck out three and picked up his first career save.
- After the bullpen allowed 15 runs on eight hits, seven walks and 10 hit batters in Saturday’s loss, the BC staff returned to form, allowed just one run on five hits without a walk or hit by pitch.
- Baldelli, along with juniors Jake Alu and Gian Martellini drove in BC’s three runs in the victory.
- Holding a two-run lead in the eighth, Lane struck out Brodt – who had blasted two grand slams on Saturday – with the bases loaded to end the inning and keep the BC lead.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Eagles were the first to strike, breaking the scoreless tie in the fourth. Alu drew a four-pitch, lead-off walk, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by catcher Jake MacNichols. Martellini drove him in with a grounder to second.
- BC added two more in the eighth off RHP Travis Howard to take a 3-0 lead. Sophomore Brian Dempsey led off with a single to right and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Chris Galland. Senior Jake Palomaki drew a walk to put two on and Baldelli drove in one with double to center. Alu hit a fast-falling liner to center, which was caught, but allowed Palomaki to tag up for the second BC run.
- Junior LHP Zach Stromberg loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth on three straight singles. After an infield popup for the first out, Joe Becht hit a bloop single to left to score the Broncos’ first run. Lane came in the game with the bases still loaded and forced a shallow fly ball and struck out Brodt swinging to hold the BC lead.
- The righty recorded a 123 ninth with two Ks to preserve the win for the Eagles.
INSIDE THE BOXSCORE
- BC leads the all-time series against Santa Clara, 4-1.
- For the first time in the three-game set, the Eagles did not score in the first inning.
- Palomaki’s six-game hit streak came to an end, which dated back to last season. He drew a walk in the eighth to bring his career total to 120, which is first in BC record books. He is also 10th all-time, reaching base safely 283 times in his career.
The Eagles travel to Ft. Myers, Fla., for the 27th exhibition game against the Red Sox on Thursday, Feb. 22 at JetBlue Park Fenway South. The game will be broadcast on NESN/Fox 25 and WEEI. They will stay in the Sunshine State over the weekend to battle three teams – Minnesota, Indiana and Rutgers – in the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte.
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