DURHAM, N.C. – The BC baseball team rallied for two runs in the 11thinning to defeat Clemson, 7-5, in its ACC Championship opener at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The 12-seed Eagles hit a season-high four home runs, moved to 30-26 on the season and will play top-seeded Louisville Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Senior designated hitter Gian Martellini (Johnston, R.I.) got the top of the 11thstarted with a single to right field. He was lifted for freshman pinch-runner Lucas Stalman (Bedford Hills, N.Y.), who was sacrificed into scoring position and scored the go-ahead run on a sharp grounder to first off the bat of freshman catcher Peter Burns (Reading, Mass.).
Freshman second baseman Cody Morissette (Exeter, N.H.) led the BC lineup with two home runs in a 3-for-6 game. Trailing by a run after two, Morissette stepped to the plate with a runner aboard and two gone. He quickly put BC in front with a two-run shot to right for his third home run of the season. An inning later, the Eagles added to their lead with a solo home run by junior right fielder Joe Suozzi (Glen Cove, N.Y.).
Boston College went up top for the third inning in a row as Morissette bested his previous effort with a solo home run to right that left the stadium. Junior shortstop Brian Dempsey (Potomac, Md.) added some insurance for the Eagles with a solo home run over the wall in left to put the game at a 5-2 score in the eighth.
The Eagle bullpen surrendered the three-run lead in the bottom of the eighth on two hits, two walks, and a hit batter. Redshirt-sophomore lefty Joey Walsh (Plymouth, Mass.) entered with a two-run lead, the bases loaded and two outs. Clemson (33-24) tied the game against him with a two-run single by second baseman Jordan Greene.
Walsh (5-6) stayed on to force extras with a perfect ninth, including two strikeouts. He pitched through all six outs in extra innings to earn the win in a 3.1-inning appearance.
Freshman right-hander Mason Pelio (San Diego, Calif.) found himself in trouble early; walking the first two batters of the game. He got out of the jam with a fly ball double play and an inning later limited the Tigers (33-24) to an unearned run on a leadoff single and an error as he got a double play in the infield. Pelio went six innings, allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits and four walks with three strikeouts.
Score: Boston College 7, Clemson 5
Records: Boston College (30-26), Clemson (33-24)
Location: Durham Bulls Athletic Park (Durham, N.C.)
Mike Gambino, Head Coach:
“I was proud of the boys. Heck of a ball game. That’s what you expect to see when you come to the ACC Tournament — two teams going after each other. Clemson’s a really good team. We saw really good arms. Mason [Pelio] threw the ball great and I was just proud of the way this lineup kept coming and kept coming. These boys are fun to be around right now.”
- Morissette blasted a 1-2 pitch into the right-field seats to flip a one-run deficit into a 2-1 BC lead in the third.
- Suozzi lifted the Eagle lead to 3-1 in the fourth with a solo shot off the top of the wall behind the fence in deep left-center to the right of the “Blue Monster”.
- Morissette hit his second home run of the game in the fifth with a solo shot that left the stadium to deep right field.
- Pelio struck out back-to-back batters in a 1-2-3 bottom of the fifth.
- Dempsey pushed the BC lead to three runs with a solo home run in the eighth.
- In the 11th, Martellini led off with a base hit and was Stalman, who was sacrificed to second, was called on to pinch run. Burns grounded a ball sharply to first that got through to plate Stalman with the go-ahead run.
- Baldelli increased the Eagles’ lead to two in the 11th with a base hit through the right side.
- Baldelli recorded his eighth multi-hit game of the season and third in the last five games.
- Dempsey hit his third home run of the season for his 20th multi-hit game of the season. BC is 14-6 in Dempsey’s multi-hit games.
- Morissette hit his third home run of the season for his 21st multi-hit game of the season.
- Morissette became the first Eagle to homer at the ACC Championship since Mickey Wiswall vs. Florida State (5/28/10).
- Morissette added his fourth home run of the season for his first multi-home run game.
- Morissette became the first Eagle to homer twice in a game since Jake Palomaki vs. Notre Dame (5/19/17).
- Pelio made his seventh start of six innings or more this season.
- Suozzi hit his third home run of the season for his ninth multi-hit game of the season.
- BC is 4-6 all-time in the ACC Championship.
- BC is 11-21 when the opponent scores first.
- BC hit a season-high four home runs after previously hitting three long balls at North Carolina (4/20).
- BC is 1-2 in extra innings this season and last won in extras against Wake Forest (5/7/16).
BC takes on No. 7 and top-seeded Louisville tomorrow at 11 a.m. to wrap up play in Pool A. Senior lefty Dan Metzdorf (Burlington, Mass.) gets the ball for the Eagles.