Clutch hitting proved the difference for Boston College on Tuesday, as the Eagles outscored Virginia Tech 11-7 in the opening game of the 2023 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Nick Wang drove in five runs, and Joe Vetrano added four RBI for Boston College, which scored nine of its 11 runs with two outs to win for the fifth time in the last six games.
The sixth-seeded and nationally 20th-ranked Eagles (35-17) will now await Friday’s 11 a.m. tournament game versus third-seeded Clemson (39-17), with the winner of that contest moving on to Saturday’s semifinals. Tenth-seeded Virginia Tech (30-22) closes out tournament play versus Clemson on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
Wang delivered a two-run double in the third inning as the Eagles battled back from an early 3-0 deficit, and his three-run double in the bottom of the sixth gave Boston College the lead for good at 8-6. It marked Wang’s third game of the season with five or more RBI.
Vetrano, who had a two-run double in the third inning and a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh, has driven in a team-high 55 runs in 51 games.
The Eagles also received sensational play in center field from Barry Walsh, who made a leaping grab to rob Virginia Tech’s Brody Donay of what looked like a certain two-run homer in the third inning and added two more running catches – both also off the bat of Donay – to add to the Hokies’ frustration in the latter innings. Walsh added a solo home run – his sixth of the year – in the bottom of the sixth.
Virginia Tech built a 6-4 lead through four innings, but Boston College relievers Henry Leake (4-5) and Andrew Roman combined to allow just one hit and one run through the final 5.1 innings. Roman worked the final three innings for his ninth save.
Carson Jones and Christian Martin combined for four of the Hokies’ seven hits, including Jones’ 14th home run of the season in the top of the third. Martin has now reached base in 37 consecutive games.
Henry Weycker (3-3), the fifth of eight Virginia Tech pitchers, took the loss on the mound.