Baseball

Boston College 12, California 10: Eagles hold on in a slugfest

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Highlighted by an explosive offensive performance and a couple of key defensive plays, Boston College edged California in a 12-10 slugfest at the third game of the MLB Desert Invitational, moving to 2-1 on the season.

Northwestern transfer Michael Farinelli got the start for the Birds, making his BC debut. Coming off a dreadful 2023 where he posted an ERA of nearly 10, Farinelli put together his best performance in two years, striking out seven Golden Bears over four scoreless innings. A seventh-year graduate student, it was an excellent Birdball debut for the New York native, who began his career at the DII Middlebury College.

The Eagles offense gave Farinelli all the support he needed before he even stepped on the rubber, with RBI singles from Kyle Wolff, Parker Landwehr, and Vince Cimini giving BC a three-run lead in the top of the first. Wolff tacked on two more in the second to make it 5-0, depositing a Jake Guardianic fastball 402 feet over the fence.  

Eric Schroeder replaced Farinelli in the fifth, giving up a two-run homer to Caleb Lomavita, a preseason All-Pac-12 Team member. BC promptly responded with three fifth-inning runs of their own, the third scored on a double by Wolff, who finished a triple shy of the cycle. However, things began to get tense in the sixth after manager Todd Interdonato elected to leave Schroeder in for a second inning, where he couldn’t retire any of the four batters he faced. Gavin Hasche nor Charlie Coon could get the Eagles out of the jam, and it was only after the Bears cut the lead to 8-7 that senior Aidan Crowley finally got Ryan Tayman to ground out to second, ending the inning.

The Eagles again responded to the Bears rally, with Barry Walsh pushing the lead to three on a two-run, two-out RBI single. Nick Wang then continued his white-hot start to the season, crushing a hanging breaking ball for a two-run homer, his second of the year to make it 12-7. 

Going into the bottom of the seventh, Interdonato again left his reliever in too long, as Crowley immediately loaded the bases with no outs in his second inning of work. Jordan Fisse prompted to walk in a run and let two more score via the sacrifice flies, but then settled in, shutting down the Bears in the eighth and ninth, notching his first career save. The Stevens Institute of Technology transfer was aided by a couple of sparkling defensive plays by Cimini at second base, and the Eagles left Glendale with a winning record.

BC will resume play on Friday at 5:00 p.m. EST, as they head down to the Lonestar state for a three-game set with the UT Arlington Mavericks.

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