Boston College defeated Georgia Tech, 4-3, in Game 1 of this afternoon's doubleheader. Living in New England, this was the first opportunity for me to see a game in person since the last game of the Cape League championship series last August 13. For an afternoon in Chestnut Hill in March, the weather was pretty good. I have been to games at B.C. when it was more like hockey weather than baseball weather. When the sun broke out, it was fairly comfortable and it didn't really get chilly until the ninth inning. I don't think the folks broadcasting the game back to Atlanta on WREK felt that way though. Tech coach Danny Hall picked up his 1,000th career win last week but he can't be happy with the way this weekend went. The Yellow Jackets traveled north with one of the nation's more prolific offenses. The Eagles won a slugfest on Friday, 15-7. Tech took a 3-2 lead into the 9th inning of today's first game but B.C. scored two in the home half of the inning to guarantee themselves a win in the weekend series. Hall's frustration showed during two heated arguments with umpires.
Jake Davies started for Harwich in that previously mentioned championship game. Davies - minus the mohawk - absorbed the loss while pitching in relief for Tech today. He took over for starter Luke Bard (Brewster, '10, '11) to start the 8th inning. Davies walked two batters in that frame but escaped unscathed. His wildness continued in the 9th when he walked leadoff batter Matt McGovern (Yarmouth-Dennis). Spenser Payne attempted to sacrifice McGovern into scoring position and bunted the ball back to Davies. Davies fielded the ball cleanly but dropped it as he tried to tag Payne. Pinchhitter Marc Perdios bunted and moved both runners over. The next batter, Matt Pare (Y-D) was hit by a pitch, loading the bases and bringing Hall out to argue that Pare leaned into the pitch. That ended Davies day, but it wouldn't be long before we would see Hall again. Alex Cruz got pinchhitter Tyler Hinchliffe to ground to short for what looked like a game-ending doubleplay. Hinchliffe barely beat the relay to first to allow B.C. to tie the game. Hall tossed his clipboard to the ground and sprinted out to voice his displeasure to the firstbase umpire. With the game now tied and runners on the corners, Tom Bourdon (Chatham), the Eagles best hitter, was intentionally walked. Blake Butera then stepped to the plate and lined a shot over the head of the second baseman to give B.C. the 4-3 win.
Boston College starter Hunter Gordon (Y-D) was very impressive. He worked 7.2 innings, giving up 7 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 5. Gordon was not overpowering but stayed around the strike zone and located his pitches well. He was very efficient with his 91 pitches.
I have seen Bard pitch a lot for Brewster over the last two summers. I mentioned to fellow CodBaller Greg Lowder that I have never seen Bard pitch poorly but I have also not seen him throw an outstanding game. Until today, it seemed that every time I have seen Bard, he always pitches just well enough to lose, or not be involved in the decision. Today, he pitched well enough to win but did not receive a lot of offensive support. With Tech's pitching staff in some disarray, Bard helped by going 7 innings. He allowed 6 hits and 2 runs (both earned), while not walking anyone and striking out 6. Georgia Tech people said Bard was hitting 95 on the gun.
In the 5th inning, the Eagles' John Hennessy hit a shot that looked like a certain double to right-centerfield. Jackets centerfielder Brandon Thomas (Wareham, '11) raced to his left and made the catch look routine. Thomas looks very smooth in the outfield.
Pare was having a tough day at the plate, striking out in all three appearances before being hit by Davies in the ninth. It's not fair to come to conclusions based on one game, but from what I saw today, I would not throw Pare a fastball unless it was to waste a pitch. He really struggled with offspeed pitches.
I saw a lot of Wareham games last year and was very impressed with Daniel Palka. Seemed like every time I saw the Gatemen play, Palka had a hit in a big spot or a multiple-hit game. Palka was held hitless today (sac. fly, RBI) and struck out twice.
With the weather turning cooler and the wind picking up, I wimped out and headed home after the first game. Georgia Tech avoided the sweep by taking the second game, 2-1. After taking two of three this weekend, Boston College is now 2-7 in the ACC, 9-13 overall. Georgia Tech is 4-5 in the ACC, 15-9 overall.
All in all, it was a good day to get a baseball fix and to see a number of recent and future Cape Leaguers.