Despite Loss to Florida State, Boston College Has Shot at NCAA Tournament


John Leonard just can't seem to find a way to beat Florida State.

The No. 13 Seminoles knocked the Boston College junior starting pitcher around for the second time in three weeks Friday, torching him for six runs and nine hits in 2 1/3 innings en route to a 12-2 thumping of the Eagles in the third game of the ACC tournament.

The loss ended the Eagles' hopes of making the ACC championship game and places them firmly on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament.

"Florida State seems to have his number for some reason or another," Boston College head coach Mik Aoki said. "It certainly did in the last game we played them, and again [Friday]. The game got decided pretty early, unfortunately."

The Seminoles jumped out to a 6-0 lead after three innings and never took their foot off the gas. A flurry of singles in the bottom of the second plated two runs. Four more singles, plus a laser from Florida State's James Ramsey down the right-field line for a double, pushed the Seminoles' lead to 6-0, quickly ending Leonard's day.

Reliever Chris Kowalski didn't fare much better for the Eagles, allowing five earned runs over the next three innings. Devon Travis blasted a 1-0 offering from Kowalski in the bottom of the fifth for a two-run homer, extending Florida State's lead to 10-0. Boston College finally had an answer for Seminoles starter John Gast, who allowed just one earned run in 5 1/3 innings, in the top of the sixth. Mickey Wiswall led off with a home run, his 19th of the year, putting him in second place all time for home runs in a single season by an Eagle. That was Gast's only mistake of the afternoon.

"He attacked us with fastballs, and he did a really good job of throwing to each side of the plate and keeping up off balance," senior captain John Spatola said.

Spatola would turn his single into a run later in the sixth after a throwing error couldn't throw out Brad Zapenas.

Unfazed, the Seminoles matched the Eagles' two runs in the next two innings. Sherman Johnson slapped a solo shot in the bottom of the sixth to make it an 11-2 game,
and Stuart Tapley made it around the bases thanks to a wild pitch, fielder's choice and an RBI single from Tyler Holt, putting Florida State up 12-2.

The game was called after that due to the ACC tournament's 10-run rule, which ends a contest if a team is up by 10 or more runs after seven innings.

The loss dropped Boston College to 30-27 on the season and puts an NCAA tournament berth in doubt. The Eagles won't know if their season is over yet until the bracket is announced on Monday.

"Hopefully, the tournament committee will see fit to let us keep playing after this weekend," Aoki said.

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