Boston College narrowly beats UMass 13-12 in the opening round of the 32nd Baseball Beanpot

The Minutemen battled hard against a top ten team in the country, but could not pull off the upset.

It was a back-and-forth slug fest on Tuesday afternoon at Earl Lorden Field that showed the Boston College Eagles coming out victorious over the Minutemen. At the end of the second inning, Massachusetts led the Eagles 10-2. BC came roaring back, punching their ticket to the championship game of the 32nd Beanpot as they won 13-12.

UMass got out to a great start in this game, putting up five runs in both the first and second innings.  A couple of Boston College errors helped the Minutemen along, both coming in the first inning; a ground ball through the legs of Eagles pitcher A.J. Colarusso and a dropped fly ball to LF Daniel Baruch gave the Minutemen an extra spark.

The Eagles were able to clean up the defense, but not before some highlights: Two perfect bunts by UMass batters 1B Steve Luttazi and 2B Sam Hill drove in one run each. More RBIs came from DH Mike Gervasi and LF Carter Hanson, as he capped off a marvelous two innings with a three-run homerun, adding up to ten runs for the Minutemen.

After a scoreless third inning, the offensive onslaught for Boston College began as they scored nine runs over the next three innings. The eight run Massachusetts lead quickly vanished. It got started in the fourth inning as the Eagles filled the bases for one of the best hitters on the team, CF Barry Walsh. Walsh flew out to Minutemen RF Will MacLean but Baruch tagged up from third base, MacLean’s throw was right on the money but with an athletic slide, Baruch avoided the tag from C Michael Toth, scoring the third run of the game and the first run out of the next nine that the Eagles scored through innings four to six.

Kalina Kornacki

More Eagles RBIs came in those innings from players like DH Peter Burns, 1B Joe Vetrano, 3B Nick Wang, and RF Cohl Mercado. At the end of the top half of the sixth inning, BC had taken the lead, 11-10. Meanwhile, the Minutemen were held scoreless for three straight innings by pitcher Ian Murphy.

Once Murphy was taken out, the men in maroon responded in the bottom half of the inning, starting with a double from Toth to right field. He was moved over to third base by 3B Justin Blumenthal with a sacrifice bunt, continuing the Minutemen’s “small ball” mentality they held all game. Toth was able to come around and score as SS Zack Zaetta singled to left field. The game was tied at 11 as it went to the seventh inning.

UMass pitcher Jackson Harrigan came on for the top of the seventh inning and held the Eagles scoreless, giving the Minutemen a chance to take the lead again. Luttazi smoked a ball to right field, and just like that, Massachusetts was back in the lead 12-11.

Kalina Kornacki

Unfortunately for the Minutemen, their pitching could not hold onto the lead. Harrigan ran into trouble during the top of the eighth inning. Walsh and Vetrano brought home the runs 12 and 13, putting the Minutemen down once again.

Eagles closer Andrew Roman took the mound with hopes to end the game. He ended up getting a four out save, the UMass efforts to tie the game were not good enough. Roman collected his seventh save of the year, securing win number 21 for one of the best teams in Boston College baseball history. The Eagles will now face the Harvard Crimson in the championship game of the Beanpot.

The Minutemen offensive player of the game was easily Steve Luttazi. His final line looks like this: 4 for 5, 1 HR, 3 RBIs. The Eagles offensive player of the game has to be Nick Wang. He went 2 for 3, recorded 3 walks, 3 RBIs, and a double on the day.

The Minutemen will be back in action for a three-game series against the Davidson Wildcats, starting Friday at 3 p.m.. Look for UMass to try to carry the offensive momentum into this series, as they aim for their first Atlantic 10 Conference win of the year.

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