BRIGHTON, Mass. – The Boston College baseball team took down No. 1 North Carolina State in a 3-1 pitcher’s duel in front of 525 fans at the Harrington Athletics Village on Sunday afternoon. The Eagles snapped a four-game slide to improve to 15-17 overall and 6-9 in the ACC, while the Wolfpack fell to 29-4 and 12-3.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Mason Pelio (San Diego, Calif.) matched his season-high with 7.2 innings pitched. He struck out seven and allowed one run on two hits and two walks in the no-decision.
BC pulled away from a 1-1 tie with two runs in the bottom of the eighth for its fifth win of the season over a ranked opponent. The Eagles played small ball to produce a run after sophomore left fielder Chris Galland (Sudbury, Mass.) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. After Galland was sacrificed to second, senior third baseman Jake Alu (Hamilton, N.J.) delivered him to the plate with a single up the middle.
A batter later, Alu went first-to-third on a single through the right side by junior right fielder Jack Cunningham (South Riding, Va.). Freshman Sal Frelick (Lexington, Mass.) was called on for his first plate appearance of the series and lifted a deep fly ball on the first pitch he saw to score Alu on a sacrifice fly.
Senior right-handed pitcher Thomas Lane (Georgetown, Mass.) relieved Pelio with two gone in the eighth. He stayed on to pitch the ninth and had to work out of trouble as the Wolfpack got the tying runs on base on just two pitches with a single and a hit-by-pitch. Lane (2-1) bounced back to retire the next three batters in order and leave the tying runs in scoring position.
The lone run scored against Pelio on the day was a leadoff home run in the fourth by NC State catcher Patrick Bailey. Shortstop Will Wilson led a Wolfpack lineup that produced just four hits with a 2-for-4 performance.
RHP Andrew Blake issued two walks and hit a batter without recording an out in the start for NC State. Lefty Canaan Silver came on in relief for six-shutout innings with three strikeouts and only allowed two hits. Right-hander Cameron Cotter (2-2) took the loss with one run against in 1.1 innings.
Score: Boston College 3, North Carolina State 1
Records: Boston College (15-17, 6-9), North Carolina State (29-4, 12-3)
Location: Harrington Athletics Village (Brighton, Mass.)
Mike Gambino, Head Coach:
“[Pelio] doesn’t look like a freshman out there, does he? He loves it. He loves the chance to pitch against the No. 1 team in the country and to pitch in a big spot. He’s a special one. The freshman class in general [is special]. You also can’t get lost in the fact that Thomas Lane comes out and gets us four big outs. Pelio is going to be really special in the next couple years and there will be a lot of people coming out to see him in this ballpark.”
“Situational hitting and base-running. Don’t get lost in Sal’s sac-fly situational. That doesn’t happen if Jake Alu doesn’t go first-to-third in a big spot and that’s something we talk about; situational hitting and base-running. When we do it well and you’re playing tight ball games it comes down to those two.”
- The Eagles loaded the bases with nobody out in the first and scored the first run of the game on a Cunningham sacrifice-fly.
- Pelio struck out two in the fifth; his third 1-2-3 inning of the day.
- Pelio’s 107th pitch of the day was a curveball called for strike three to end the seventh.
- Alu battled back from 0-2 to deliver Galland to the plate with a base hit up the middle in the bottom of the eighth.
- With runners on the corners in the eighth, Frelick was called on to pinch-hit for his first plate appearance of the series and delivered a sacrifice fly on the first pitch he saw.
- Pelio allowed a solo home run in the fourth to end a streak of 15-scoreless innings and a streak of 16 innings without allowing an earned run.
- Pelio made his team-leading fifth start of six-plus innings; matching his season-high with 7.2 innings of work.
- Morissette hit his 10th double of the year, which is tied for the team lead.
- Cunningham hit his eighth double of the season and 17th of his career.
- Cunningham’s third multi-hit game of the series marked his 11th of the season and 22nd of his career.
- The Eagles are 5-7 against ranked opponents this season.
The back half of a 10-game homestand begins Tuesday, April 9 against Rhode Island at 4 p.m.