Visiting Boston College sweeps Hokies
March 27th, 2006
by Charles R. Barrineau, Senior Staff Writer
The Hammerin' Hokies dug themselves into a deep hole in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings this weekend, getting swept by the visiting Boston College Eagles in three winnable games.
"It was a tough weekend," said Virginia Tech head coach Chuck Hartman. "You could win all three or you could lose all three. Unfortunately it didn't even divvy up. It was a very tough weekend for our baseball team."
This series was critical for the Hokies because only the league's top eight teams make the ACC Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. The top two teams in each division qualify, as do the next four teams overall.
"I thought this was very critical," Hartman said. "I thought Boston College would be one of those teams that we'd need to get at least two out of three, and maybe get a sweep. (It) turned out the other way; probably three of the toughest losses our program's had to suffer. We got beat in the ninth, we got beat in the thirteenth and we got beat in the tenth."
Sunday saw the Hokies jump out to a 2-0 lead before the Eagles tied the Hokies in the top of the fourth, eventually taking a 3-2 lead in the fifth. Sophomore right fielder Jose Cueto had a chance to give the Hokies the lead in the bottom of the inning, but struck out swinging, leaving the bases loaded.
Those base runners accounted for three of the 10 left on base for the day. Overall, Tech left 32 runners stranded over the weekend.
"It's been bugging me all along," Hartman said. "When we played Miami down there we left 33 on in three games. I can't hit for them."
In the top half of the seventh, the Eagles had runners on second and third with no outs and were able to get both home due to sloppy defense and a series of errors by the Hokies.
"It's tougher to play when it's cold," Hartman said. "You probably see more mistakes when (there's) not ideal conditions ... I was disappointed we threw the ball around in that inning."
Boston College also drove in another run later in the inning to extend its lead to 6-2.
Tech was down, but not out. The Hokies had the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth with no outs when Matt Foley hit a sacrifice fly to center, cutting the Boston College lead to three.
Sheldon Adams was next up and came through in the clutch. The senior pinch-hitter hit a three-run home run with two outs, tying the game 6-6 at the end of eight.
"I was just trying to look for something I could drive with two outs, hopefully to get them in," Adams said. "It was just right down the middle (and) I happened to get a good swing on it."
Eagle second baseman Ryan Hutchinson hit a solo shot in the top of the ninth to put BC on top 7-6.
In the bottom of the ninth the Hokies were able to get junior second baseman Warren Schaeffer into scoring position with one out. With two outs, freshman center fielder Sean Ryan doubled and drove Schaeffer home to tie the game at seven.
BC once again came alive in the tenth as a two-run home run by Ryan Akel put the Eagles ahead 9-7.
The Hokies had hope in their half of the tenth, with runners on first and second with two outs. However, Schaeffer was unable to drive them home as he struck out to end the game.
"(Two) extra-inning games (and) one nine-inning game," Schaeffer said. "That"s horrible, especially expecting to sweep them coming into the weekend. It's just a big blow."
The Hokies trailed the Eagles 6-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning Friday, but a five-run eighth behind a grand slam by Schaeffer tied the game at six.
The Eagles would outscore the Hokies in the ninth to win the game 8-7.
Saturday's contest saw Tech jump out to a 4-0 lead before a four-run Eagle ninth inning sent the game into extra innings.
In the top of the 13th, the Eagles scored two runs, one unearned, and held the Hokies scoreless to gain their second win in as many days.
The Hammerin' Hokies look to end their three-game skid this afternoon as they host the University of Richmond Spiders at English Field. First pitch is at 3 p.m.