Boston College came to the ACC Baseball Championship with a solid resume that inlcuded victories over every team in the league except Georgia Tech. With an RPI in the mid-30s, they were in the running for an at-large bid to the NCAAs.
But Eagles coach Mik Aoki wanted to get at least one victory in the tournament at Durham Bulls Athletic Park to pad the ledger just a little bit more. He got that win on Thursday, a
7-3 decision over 14th-ranked Georgia Tech.
The Eagles (32-24) jumped to a 4-0 lead after three innings, and Eagles pitchers JB MacDonald, Kevin Moran and Mike Belfiore made it stand up.
"We pitched it against a very explosive ball club and played good defense against a very explosive ball club," Aoki said. "It got us back to the kind of baseball that we like to play."
The Eagles have now beaten every team in the league this season -- they lost in the only regular-season game they played at Georgia Tech, with the other two rained out. Along the way, they won a series at Florida State, at Maryland, at Wake Forest and at home against N.C. State. They also beat Virginia, North Carolina and Miami once each.
"I really do think that we have put together a pretty good resume," Aoki said. "We competed at a real high level in the toughest conference in the country in my opinion. We've got some quality nonconference wins on the road as well.
"We spend the first 25 games of the year every year playing on the road. I think we've overcome a lot. That's another quality win [agianst Tech]."
It's been a breakthrough year for Aoki and the Eagles, who are in their fourth season in the ACC. Thursday's win over Tech was their first ACC tournament victory.
"There have been a lot of firsts this year," Aoki said. "We've managed to break some losing streaks against a bunch of people. To come down here, to win a game, and give ourselves a chance to go 2-1, it's important.
"This team has set a lot of precedents for us in the ACC."
The Eagles proved they can compete in the league this year, and succeed.
For Mickey Wiswall, who hit a pair of homers and drove in five runs for BC Thursday, that has always been the goal.
"We've been the underdog all season," Wiswall said. "We weren't picked to be in the ACC tournament. To be honest, we kind of take that as a slap in the face. So we came out against the ACC teams every time with the most intensity we could possibly have. We play relaxed, but we play with that intensity.
"Being a Northern school, we're always told we don't have facilities, we can't recruit down South, we can't do this, we can't do that. I am a Northern guy myself, from just outside Boston, so I come down here with a chip on my shoulder anyway. We just want to prove that we can play with anybody."
On Thursday, the Eagles took another big step toward doing just that.