I finally had my first chance to get out to a baseball field this spring to take in a game after a long layoff. At a cold Shea Field in Chestnut Hill MA, the Boston College Eagles hosted the Duke Blue Devils as both teams were in search of a much needed ACC victory. Duke sent senior LHP Christopher Manno to the hill while Boston College countered with RHP Michael Dennhardt.
After a scoreless first three innings which saw neither offense do much at all. Duke jumped on the board in the fourth inning for a run when Jake Lemmerman hit a single to left field which got by third baseman Anthony Melchoinda for the first hit of the game. He would move up to second on a wild pitch before moving over to third base on a opposite field single to put runners on the corners with no outs. Will Piwnica-Worms would follow with a sacrifice fly to center field to score the first run of the game and give Duke the 1-0 lead. Will Piwica-Worms would lead off the top of the sixth inning with a double down the right field line. He was followed by a walk and a infield bunt single by Mike Carroll to load up the bases. The Blue Devils would get one run in when Dennhardt hit Eric Brady to give the Blue Devils the 2-0. He then was followed by a Marcus Stroman sacrifice fly to center-field to give the Blue Devils the 3-0 lead. BC was able to work their way out of the inning without any further damage.
Christopher Manno would dominated the Eagles lineup through the first five innings not allowing a hit until the sixth inning. Boston College would answer in the bottom of the sixth with a two out two run double by Mickey Wiswall which would cut the Blue Devils lead to 3-2.
After the sixth inning, Boston College made a pitching change to Kevin Moran who would relieve Mike Dennhardt who went six innings allowing five hits and four works while allowing the three runs. Moran was effective on the hill for the Eagles but with one out in the seventh inning, he would get a groundout in which the Duke bench immediately reacted to this bringing them out of the dugout. The situation was calmed by the umpiring crew but seemed to bring some life into the Eagles and Blue Devils dugout. Moran is known as being a interesting character on the mound similar to Mark Fidrych talking to the ball among other things.
The game would remain 3-2 until the bottom of the eighth inning when Garrett Smith led off with a four pitch walk from starter Christopher Manno. He was immediately lifted as it was obvious that he was tiring. Duke brought in Michael Ness to try to hold the lead but he couldn’t. Smith would move over to third when Andrew Lawrence would beat a bunt defense with a ringing single to right field with no outs. Eagles top hitter Robbie Anston came to the plate but had a terrible at-bat striking out for the first out of the inning. Matt Hamlet would follow with a single past a drawn in Duke shortstop Jake Lemmerman to tie up the game at 3. After getting Mickey Wiswall out, Ness would walk Anthony Melchoinda to load up the bases. John Spatola would get a big single through the right side of the infield to give the Eagles the 5-3 lead. Duke would get out of the inning without allowing anymore runs.
Boston College turned to Matt Brazis in the top of the ninth inning to get the save where he would hit a man to start the inning before settling down to get the final three outs for the Eagles and give them a 5-3 victory.
I had to leave at the end of the first game due to the extreme cold and other commitments so I do not have a report on the second game which was won by Duke 5-4 in a back and forth game. I should be at the rubber game on Sunday and will have a full report after the game.