Boston College left the bases loaded in the ninth inning of its NCAA Division 1 baseball tournament opener on Friday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala., losing, 11-10, to Troy and putting itself on the brink of elimination.
It was part of a rough day for New England’s representatives in the national tournament, as all five lost their opening games to put them one from elimination. Northeastern lost to Maryland, 7-2, in Winston-Salem, N.C., UConn dropped a 3-2 decision to Texas Tech in Gainesville, Fla., Maine fell, 9-1, to host Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., and South Carolina trounced Central Connecticut, 19-1, in Columbia, S.C.
The Eagles (35-19), playing in their first NCAA Tournament since 2016, stranded 13 runners in losing to the Trojans (40-20), a fellow at-large team who lost the championship game of the Sun Belt tournament. Troy took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first against BC starter John West, but the Eagles carried a 4-3 lead into the seventh on the strength of homers from Barry Walsh and cleanup hitter Joe Vetrano.
Each team scored in its final three ups. Troy took an 8-4 lead with five runs on a pair of homers off Norwood’s Joey Ryan, which BC trimmed to 8-6 in its half of the seventh. After Troy made it 10-6 in the eighth, the Eagles scored three on Vetrano’s second home run of the game.
Tremayne Cobb Jr.’s home run in the top of the ninth off Duxbury’s Charlie Coon proved a critical insurance run for Troy when BC loaded the bases in the ninth on a hit batter and two singles. A sacrifice fly from Reading’s Peter Burns made it 11-10; after Troy intentionally walked Vetrano to reload the bases with two out, Newton’s Nick Wang grounded into a fielder’s choice to end it.
Each team had 12 hits. The Trojans will play the winner of the nightcap between host Alabama and Nicholls State on Saturday, while BC will face the loser to stay alive in the double-elimination regional at 3 p.m.
Maryland 7, Northeastern 2 — Northeastern (44-15) had routed the Terps, 9-2, when the teams played in May, and tied Friday’s game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth, but Maryland retook the lead for good in the bottom of the inning.
St. Mark’s School graduate Wyatt Scotti, a junior from Barnstable, took the loss after allowing three runs on three hits — two of them home runs — in five innings.
Northeastern, which stormed past the previous program record for wins (36) this season, will face elimination Saturday at noon against George Mason, which was beaten Friday by regional host Wake Forest, the nation’s No. 1 team.
Texas Tech 3, UConn 2 — Not many opposing pitchers have silenced Connecticut’s bats this season, but Texas Tech starting pitcher Mason Molina no-hit UConn (43-16) for 5⅔ innings as the Huskies dropped the opening game of the Gainesville Regional.
UConn batted .306 as a team and averaged almost eight runs per game en route to a fifth straight tournament appearance, but Molina did not allow a baserunner until a two-out grounder bounced off his glove.
Molina, who struck out 10, exited after starting the seventh with back-to-back walks. Drew Kron brought UConn to within one with an RBI single, but he was caught stealing to end the inning.
UConn starter and Halifax native Stephen Quigley took the loss, allowing three runs on seven hits in 4⅓ innings.
UConn will play Florida A&M in an elimination game at noon Saturday.
Miami 9, Maine 1 — The Hurricanes (40-19) put away the Black Bears (32-19) early, the nation’s No. 9 team scoring seven times in the first two innings. Gage Ziehl allowed just an unearned run on four hits in six innings, as the America East champions scored their only run on a fourth-inning throwing error.
Quinn McDaniel had three of the five hits for Maine, which faces Louisiana in an elimination game at noon on Saturday.
South Carolina 19, Central Connecticut 1 — The No. 15 Gamecocks (40-19) scored all their runs between the second and the fifth, plating 11 in the fourth on six hits, seven walks, and an error. The Blue Devils (36-12), regular-season and tournament champions of the Northeast Conference, scored their run on an eighth-inning wild pitch after Jimmy Sullivan tripled.
CCSU faces Campbell, the nation’s highest scoring team at nearly 10 runs per game, in an elimination game at noon on Saturday.