Boston College Outlasts Wake Forest, 4-3, in 17 Innings
April 21, 2007
BROCKTON, Mass. - Eric Campbell's walk-off double in the bottom of the 17th gave Boston College its second straight last at-bat win against Wake Forest, as the Eagles outlasted the Demon Deacons 4-3 Saturday afternoon at Campanelli Stadium.
After Wake Forest had failed to score off a bases loaded, no out situation in the top of the 17th, BC used the momentum to put the Deacons away in the bottom half of the frame. Tony Sanchez led off with a single and then scored the winning run from first when Campbell hit a double to deep centerfield.
The extra-inning heartbreaker wasted another strong outing from a Wake starting pitcher. Garrett Bullock pitched a career-high 10 innings but received a no-decision largely because the offense could only muster two runs in regulation.
The Deacon hitters struck out 23 times with each starter whiffing at least once in the game.
Boston College starter Terry Doyle baffled the Deacs for nine innings, despite his pitch count ultimately reaching 153. In his final three innings of work, Doyle allowed just one hit and struck out four. For the game, Doyle allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits. The righthander struck out 12 and walked six in the no-decision.
Bullock was equally as impressive. The sophomore lefty allowed two runs on eight hits and a walk in 10 innings of work. He tied his career-best with seven strikeouts on the day.
Eric Niesen relieved Bullock to start the 11th and pitched effectively despite dodging bullets throughout the extra innings. Niesen pitched five innings in relief, throwing 99 pitches out of the bullpen. The lefty allowed one run on five hits. He struck out five and walked five, including four intentional passes.
Phil Negus (1-1) took the loss after coming on for Niesen to start the 16th. Negus, a native of nearby Milford, Mass., easily got through the 16th but gave up the final two hits of the game in the 17th.
Nate Jeanes, who was scheduled to start Sunday's game for the Eagles, earned the win in relief. Jeanes (1-3) went 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits. The lefty struck out nine batters and walked three.
The Deacons were able to score what could have been the winning run off Jeanes in the 14th. Evan Ocheltree led off with a single, slapping an 0-2 pitch up the middle. Ocheltree moved to second on Cory Hindel's sacrifice and then stole third on a 1-1 pitch to Dustin Hood. After Hood struck out, Jeanes hit Brett Linnenkohl to put runners at the corners. Linnenkohl took second without a throw, and Ben Terry walked on four pitches to load the bases for Allan Dykstra. Dykstra came through with an infield single to score Ocheltree with the would-be game-winning run.
However, BC responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the inning. Jared McGuire tripled off the centerfield wall to lead off the inning against Niesen. Joseph Ayers followed by driving in the tying run with a single to right. Peter Frates moved pinch runner Barry Butera to second on a sacrifice bunt, and Niesen intentionally walked Ryan Akel to set up the double play. Brandon Ziemann flied to center for the second out, and Niesen intentionally walked Ryan Hutchinson to load the bases. Niesen then got Belfiore to fly out to right to end the inning.
Niesen had to pitch out of similar jams on multiple occasions. He relieved Bullock to start the 11th and immediately found himself in trouble. The lefty had to pitch his way out of a bases loaded, one out jam to send the game to the 12th. Ziemann led off with a single to center and then moved to second on a balk by Niesen.
After Ryan Hutchinson sacrificed Ziemann to third, Wake intentionally walked both Michael Befiore and Tony Sanchez to load the bases and set up the force play at home. The strategy proved unnecessary as Niesen struck out Campbell and got McGuire to fly out to end the inning.
The Deacs threatened in the top of the 12th but couldn't push the go-ahead run across. Dan Rosaia led off with a single to center and then moved to second on Hood's sacrifice bunt. Boston College then went to Jeanes, who immediately walked Linnenkohl to put two on. However, Jeanes ended the threat by striking out Terry and Dykstra in order.
Niesen and the Deacs barely escaped the bottom of the 12th, as the Eagles rallied with two outs. Jett Ruiz reached on a two-out walk, and Ziemann followed with a single to right. Hutchinson then flied a ball to shallow rightfield. Ocheltree and Andy Goff converged, and Ocheltree made a sliding catch under Goff for the final out of the inning.
Niesen dodged another bullet in the 15th. Campbell reached on a one-out single up the middle. Niesen then got McGuire to hit into what looked to be an easy 5-4-3 double play. However, Tyler Smith's throw to second sailed into rightfield, allowing Campbell to go to third. Niesen struck out the final two batters to end the threat.
The Demon Deacons loaded the bases with no outs in the 17th but came up with no runs to show for it. Terry and Dykstra hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. With pinch hitter Eric Williams ready to sacrifice the two up a base, Jeanes took care of it for him, uncorking a wild pitch on his first throw to Williams.
BC then intentionally walked Williams to load the bases with no outs. Jeanes struck out Goff for the first out and then got Smith to hit a shallow flyout to center, not allowing Terry to tag up from third. Ocheltree then struck out to end the inning and give the Eagles the momentum they needed.
Just like it did in Friday's loss, Wake Forest took an early lead with two runs in the fourth. Goff started the rally with a one-out double down the leftfield line, sliding into second under the tag of second baseman Frates. One out later, Ocheltree walked to put two runners on.
Two consecutive wild pitches from Doyle scored Goff and put Ocheltree at third. Austin Jones then reached on an error by the shortstop, allowing Ocheltree to score the Deacons' second run of the inning.
Boston College got both runs back in its half of the fourth. Bullock walked Belfiore on four pitches to start the inning. Sanchez followed with a double to left, putting runners on second and third. One out later, McGuire drove in Belfiore with an RBI groundout. Ayers capped the rally with a single up the middle, scoring Sanchez with the tying run.
The Deacs came within inches of re-taking the lead in the fifth. Linnenkohl reached on a one-out single, and Terry followed with a double to right center. Linnenkohl tried to score from first but was thrown out at home on the play, as the tag just beat him.
BC held Wake scoreless from the fifth through the 13th, a span of nine innings. The Deacons had just six hits during the stretch.
For the game, Terry, Dykstra, Smith and Ocheltree had two hits apiece. Dykstra recorded the team's lone RBI. Linnenkohl finished the marathon game 1-for-2 with five walks and a hit-by-pitch. Linnenkohl and Terry extended their respective hitting streaks to 10 games each.
Defensively, Smith stole a hit away from Ayers in the 10th, diving to his left to snag a grounder and then firing to first for the out. Ocheltree cut down a runner trying to score in the third. Hutchinson singled to right, and Ruiz tried to score from second. However, Ocheltree gunned him out at home with a throw that beat Ruiz by four steps.
The game was reminiscent of Wake Forest's 20-inning affair with Florida State last spring. The Deacons lost that game 4-3 as well, in what stands as the longest baseball game in ACC history.
Wake Forest will look to salvage a win in the three-game series on Sunday afternoon. RHP Charlie Mellies (2-1, 5.40) will start for the Deacs. The Eagles' starter is to-be-determined after scheduled starter Jeanes threw over 100 pitches on Saturday. First pitch on Sunday is set for 1 p.m. at Shea Field in Chestnut Hill.