Notre Dame regular season comes to rough end against Boston College
BOSTON — Notre Dame didn’t plan on losing twice to Boston College in two different locations in one day, but it happened. With wet weather anticipated Saturday in Boston, the game scheduled for that day was moved up to Friday afternoon. The Irish lost that game, 7-2, and they hoped a shift in venues from that first game also would shift their luck. It didn’t happen in an 8-4 defeat at Fenway Park that closed the regular season.
The Irish (30-22, 15-15) ran into early trouble when Joe Vetrano put the Eagles (34-17, 16-14) on top in the first inning with a two-out, two-run homer to left-center. Zack Prajzner got the Irish in the hit column with a leadoff double in the fourth, then scored on a Vinny Martinez RBI single. That 2-1 score was as close as the Irish would get the rest of the evening.
After Jackson Dennies pitched well for five innings, striking out six and walking nobody, Caden Spivey relieved him in the sixth, and that’s when the wheels fell off. The Eagles lit Spivey up for six runs, three of which came on Vetrano’s second home run of the game, this one a three-run blast to right. Ten Eagles came to the plate in the frame, and Spivey recorded only two outs before Shawn Stiffler gave him the hook.
If the Eagles’ offense hadn’t exploded, starting pitcher John West might have beat the Irish by himself. Over seven-plus innings, he gave up three hits despite striking out only four. Two of the three runs he allowed came during an eighth inning in which the Irish benefited from walks, hit batsmen and a wild pitch. He exited to an ovation after putting the Irish’s first two hitters on base in that inning.
The Irish did get one more run in the ninth on a pinch-hit home run by Nick Juaire, but all that did was make the game look closer than it was. The focus for Irish fans by that point was the ACC Tournament, which begins Tuesday in Durham. Between losing twice to the Eagles and the earlier loss this week to Northwestern at Wrigley Field, the Irish likely will need to win it or at least get to the title game to have a shot at the NCAA Tournament. Get those prayer circles going.
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