Eagles Complete Sweep Of Baseball, 11-10
RALEIGH, N.C. – Matt Hamlet had three hits and a sacrifice fly, and drove in three runs, including the game-winner in the ninth inning as Boston College defeated NC State 11-10 in the finale of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at Doak Field at Dail Park.
The victory gave the Eagles a sweep of the three-game series and lifted their overall record to 23-17, 12-9 in the ACC. The Wolfpack, which rallied late only to lose in heartbreaking fashion the ninth inning for the second day in a row, dropped to 26-16 and 9-12.
Kevin Moran (7-4), the last of six Boston College pitchers, got the win after allowing a run on two hits in 1 1/3 innings. Grant Sasser (2-3) was uncharacteristically roughed up for five runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings. He walked three, also un-Sasserlike, and struck out two.
The four-hour marathon was a thriller, featuring four lead changes in the final 2 1/2 innings, with BC leading last. The Eagles took the early lead in the top of the first thanks in part to NC State not being able to field bunts. Robbie Anston led off and singled through the left side of the infield. Hamlet laid down a sacrifice bunt, but the ball rolled untouched between three fielders for on the infield single. Mickey Wiswall followed suit and bunted to the left side of the diamond. This time Sogard fielded the ball but looked to third, which was uncovered, before turning to first too late to make a play, and the bases were loaded with none out. John Spatola got the run home with a sacrifice fly to center field. Sogard got out of the inning when shortstop Matt Bergquist started a nifty double play on Matt Watson’s grounder in the hole.
Anthony Melchionda led off the top of the second and homered to left-center. Andrew Lawrence singled to center and the Wolfpack was unable to turn Brad Zapenas’s bunt into an out, putting runners on first and second with none out. Garret Smith bunted right back to Sogard, and this time he was able to nail the lead runner at third for the first out. Anston flied to shallow center field for the second out of the inning, but Hamlet drove a single to left to drive in Zapenas and give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.
The Wolfpack got back on the board in the bottom of the third. Leonard hit Tarran Senay with a pitch to start the inning, and Russell Wilson turned a hit-and-run into a hit-and-trot with a long two-run homer to left field.
Boston College answered NC State’s two-run second with a three-run third. Zapenas singled up the middle and Smith walked. Anston singled to center to drive in Zapenas, and Smith went to third when Wilson overran the ball for an error. Hamlet drove in Smith with a sacrifice fly to center field, and Wiswall drove in Anston with a double all the way to the wall in center field, giving the Eagles a 6-2 lead.
The Wolfpack added a two-out run in the bottom of the fifth. Dallas Poulk grounded a single into the hole between first and second base, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Chris Schaeffer doubled to the wall in left-center to drive in Poulk and trim the Boston College lead to three runs at 6-3.
Drew Poulk led off the bottom of the sixth and doubled down the left-field line. Harold Riggins walked, but Poulk was caught stealing at third on ball four. Andrew Ciencin singled to left to put runners on first and second, and Wilson drew a two-out walk to load the bases. Riggins scored on a passed ball to cut the lead to 6-4.
The Wolfpack overtook the Eagles in the bottom of the seventh. With reliever Hunter Gordon on the mound, Dallas Poulk led off with a walk and Schaeffer was hit by a pitch. Chris Kowalski came in to pitch for BC, and Pratt Maynard singled to right-center to drive in Poulk and move Schaeffer to third. Drew Poulk hit a bullet right into the glove of Melchionda at third, and he doubled off Schaeffer for the unassisted double play. Kowalski appeared out of the inning when Riggins lifted a lazy fly ball to right-center, but Anston dropped the ball for an error. Maynard, hustling all the way, scored from first base to tie the game at 6-6. Ciencin singled to left to drive in Riggins and give NC State a 7-6 lead.
Boston College came back and retook the lead in the top of the eighth. Anston atoned for his error with a leadoff homer to right-center to tie the game at 7-7. Hamlet walked, but Riggins turned Wiswall’s grounder into a 3-6 double play for the first two outs of the inning. Sasser hit Spatola with a pitch, and Watson hit a fly ball down the right-field line that Drew Poulk lost in the high sky. The ball fell untouched for a triple, scoring Spatola with the lead run, and Melchionda singled off the wall in left to drive in Watson with an insurance run. Senay played the ball cleanly off the wall and made a strong throw back to Dallas Poulk, who threw to first base to cut down Melchionda for the final out of the inning. The damage was done, however, a three-run outburst that gave the Eagles a 9-7 lead.
NC State took the lead back with three runs in the bottom of the eighth, all after the first two batters were retired. Schaeffer walked to send Dave Laufer to the showers. Dane Clemens came in and walked Maynard to put runners on first and second, and Drew Poulk more than atoned for his baserunning mistake by driving a two-run, game-tying double to right-center. Riggins followed with a single up the middle to score Poulk and give the Wolfpack a 10-9 lead.
The Eagles drove the winning runs across in the top of the ninth, Pinch-hitter Philip Miclat led off and walked. Zapenas grounded to first base, and Riggins went to second to retire the lead runner. Smith doubled to the left-center-field gap, scoring Zapenas from first base to tie the game at 10-10. Sasser struck out Anston. Anthony Tzamtzis came in to pitch for the Pack, and Hamlet singled to center field to drive in Smith with the go-ahead run.
NC State will return to action on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. with a non-conference game vs. Elon at Doak Field at Dail Park. The game will be broadcast live on WKNC-FM (88.1) and on-line on gopack.com through the Pack Pass package.