Eagles drop Bulldogs with walk-off HR



CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Spenser Payne hit a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the tenth inning to give Boston College a 5-3 victory and a season sweep over the Bryant University baseball team Wednesday afternoon at Shea Field.

With the scored tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the tenth, Payne battled back from an 0-2 count before drilling the 3-2 pitch over the left field wall to give the Eagles (10-14) the victory. The victory was the second this year for the Eagles over the Bulldogs (11-11) and the fifth-straight in the all-time series.

Boston College jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first on three hits and two Bryant errors. Tom Bourdon singled through the right side to start the game and Matt McGovern followed with a sharp single up the middle that was misplayed in center to allow both runners advance an extra base. A wild pitch plated the Eagles first run but it appeared that would be all they would get. Bryant starter Kevin McAvoy (Syracuse, N.Y.) struck out the next two batters and induced a ground ball to second that would have ended the inning but the throw to first was wide, allowing a second run to score. Marc Perdios made the error hurt even more with an RBI single to right that pushed the Eagle lead to three.

The Bulldogs finally got the bats going in the third, collecting a trio of hits. Senior Connor Carignan (Norwich, Conn.) continued to swing the bat well, ripping a one-out double inside the bag at first to start the Bulldogs. Junior Dan Muscatello (Hopkinton, Mass.) followed with a single up the middle to plate Carignan with the Black and Gold's first run. Senior David Soltis (Plainville, Conn.) kept the rally alive with a two-out double down the left field line to put runners on second and third but Eagle reliever Geoffrey Murphy got a fly to center to end the inning.

Bryant erased the entire deficit in the top of the fifth with two runs on four hits. Junior Adam Claire (Litchfield, Conn.) and Carignan led off the inning with consecutive singles to left and Muscatello loaded the bases by beating out a bunt down the third base line. Junior Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) brought home Claire with a sac fly to center and Soltis smashed a single right back up the middle to score Carignan and tie the game at 3-3.

After that it was a battle between the two bullpens. Following McAvoy's exit after the second inning, freshman Trevor Lacosse (Watervliet, N.Y.), sophomore Bryan Menduke (Oakland, N.J.) and sophomore Jonathan Cohen (Norwalk, Conn.) combined to limit the Eagles to just two hits over the next 5 1/3 innings. Lacosse tossed two scoreless innings, Menduke followed with two more and Cohen tossed 1 1/3 scoreless before giving way to junior Salvatore Lisanti (Bronx, N.Y.) in the eighth. Lisanti got out of the eighth with a strikeout and a pop out but suffered his second loss of the season on Payne's game-winning home run.

For Boston College, starter Eric Stone struck out three over two scoreless innings in his first collegiate appearance. Murphy was touched for all three runs on six hits over two innings but the combination of Nick Poore, Kyle Prohovich and Matt Alvarez shut the Bulldogs out on just two hits over the final six innings.

Both teams had chances to score over the course of the game but were unable to break the deadlock. The Black and Gold put together a two-out rally in the sixth but left runners on second and third to end the inning. BC also threatened in the ninth with a John Hennessy leadoff single. Lisanti buckled down, however, to induce a 1-4-6-3 double play. Another 4-6-3 double play in the tenth erased another leadoff runner for the Eagles but Anthony Melchionda singled with two outs to keep the inning alive for Payne.

Muscatello, Soltis and Carignan all finished with two hits for the Bulldogs and Claire reached base twice with a walk and a single. Tom Bourdon, Melchionda and Hennessy each had two hits for the Eagles.

The Bulldogs begin a four-game Northeast Conference series with LIU Brooklyn on Friday, March 30 in Brooklyn, N.Y. First pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.