Eagles Take Weekend Opener, Drop Doubleheader to Duke
By JD Biagioni
Boston College hosted Duke for the penultimate home weekend series at Harrington Athletic Village. Like most other weekend series, the Eagles hung around, avoided a sweep, and continued to offer glimpses of future excitement when taking on a tournament-caliber team.
Dan Metzdorf kicked off the weekend with a Friday night gem against the Blue Devils. Due to weather concerns, the game was moved up two hours, but it didn’t throw off the senior lefty. Metzdorf worked 8.1 shutout innings, striking out a career-high nine batters. He went back out for the ninth with a pitch count of over 110 and looked to seal off the complete game. Unfortunately, with a few runners on and a pitch count nearing 130, Metzdorf had to come out. He received a standing ovation from the BC fans as Matt Gill strode to the mound to retire the final two Duke hitters and give BC the game 1 victory, 5-0.
The second game of the weekend served as the 8th annual ALS Awareness Game, honoring former Boston College captain Pete Frates.
First pitch is next…#StrikeOutALS!
— BC Baseball (@BCBirdBall) April 27, 2019
Three BC errors in the first inning contributed to nine Duke batters coming to the plate and three crossing home without registering a hit. After the first, Mason Pelio settled in, at one point retiring 13-straight batters. He finished with a line of 6.1 and 4 runs, but only 1 was earned. Duke was held to just three hits, but was able to push those 4 runs across thanks to BC’s defensive miscues.
The lone Eagles run came on Jack Cunningham’s solo home run to lead off the 6th. He belted one to straight-away center off of Duke’s Jack Carey. Blue Devils center fielder Kennie Taylor crashed into the center field fence attempting to rob the homer and was shaken up on the play. Taylor would remain in the game and finished the weekend as Duke’s best hitter, going a combined 8-for-12 against BC pitching.
One development to monitor from game 2 was that freshman standout Sal Frelick exited after two at bats and didn’t play in the latter half of the doubleheader. What exactly is ailing Frelick in unknown, but he did look shaken up after making another highlight-reel catch Friday night.
The kid @SalFrelick doesn't know how to not make top plays!#SCtop10 nominee.#Birdball🦅
Mid 7: BC 1, Duke 0.
🖥 https://t.co/Tgk2NXaohz (ACCNE)
📊 https://t.co/SGKjo1jWTM pic.twitter.com/I8ckb2mXZ0
— BC Baseball (@BCBirdBall) April 26, 2019
Forty-five minutes after the first game, a 4-1 Duke win, the rubber match took place, moved up from Sunday due to weather concerns. John Witkowski pitched for the Eagles, logging his second career start. He faced off against Cooper Stinson, the younger brother of Duke phenom Graeme Stinson. The younger Stinson and reliever Bryce Jarvis kept the Eagles bats silent, striking out 9 in seven scoreless innings.
Witkowski threw two shoutout innings, but Duke was able to tag BC’s relievers for 8 earned runs. Duke shut BC out 8-0 to take the weekend series. The Eagles now sit at 22-24 (8-16 in-conference) and will head to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech next weekend in a critical matchup for ACC Tournament seeding.