The Eagles of Boston College faced off against the local professional entry – I believe they are called the Red Sox – and in a startling upset of epic proportions lost to the Sox 5-2 at Jet Blue Park in warm Fort Myers. This occasionally happens in sports and legends are often made from these classic upsets.
Boston College has an illustrious history of players who later went on to perform at the professional level. Maybe a few returning alumni could have changed the outcome? Yes, I am an Eagle alumni. No surprise.
The Red Sox have a great tradition of playing both Northeastern and Boston College to lead off the spring training season. This is a season highlight for many of the college players, especially those with local roots.
Scores are really not significant but performance is as BSI’s Michele Pettis so aptly pointed out. These early encounters get the attention of staff and can create a buzz or give an insight into what to expect. The early going usually represents a showcase for pitchers on trial or on the mend and this game was exactly that.
The Red Sox rolled out prospect Rubby De La Rosa for the first two innings. Rubby responded by allowing one hit, to Senior Tom Burdon, while getting two Eagles via strikeouts.
The Sox also provided De La Rosa with a run in the opening frame. B.C. starter, Senior Eric Stevens, allowed back to back walks to Brock Holt and Alex Hassan. Garin Cecchini grounded into a DP and Holt scored when next batter, Brandon Snyder, doubled him in. 1-0 Boston and an upset was in the works.
The next member of the Pawtucket staff, Matt Barnes opened the third for the Sox. Barnes handled the collegians with efficiency going 1-2-3 with a strike out tossed in.
The next in the conga line of pitchers for the professionals was Alex Wilson. Wilson responded by matching the effort of Barnes, going 1-2-3 with the obligatory strike out.
In the Sox fourth, B.C. brought in senior Eric Stone who fell victim to a home run by high end catching prospect Christian Vasquez. That made it 2-0.
The Sox brought in Tommy Layne for the 5th. Layne continued to stifle the B.C. bats but did allow a walk to go with a strikeout.
Layne had a cup of coffee with the Padres in 2012 and 2013 and signed on with the Sox and is a non roster invitee. Layne and old friend Rich Hill may see considerable service time in Pawtucket. Both have that premium physical attribute – they toss from the left side. .
The last of the fifth bumped that Sox lead up to 5-0.
Cecchini, Mookie Betts and Matty Johnson all singled. With the bases loaded B.C. freshman right-hander, Bobby Skogsbergh, cleared them by giving up a double to Travis Shaw. Shaw now had two hits and a walk in three visits to the plate. Not a bad way to get early-going attention.
In the 6th Miguel Celestino came out for his round and the usual results followed. No hits for B.C. and one walk issued by Celestino.
In the 7th the Sox brought in Austin Maddox. That eventually proved good news for B.C. Maddox is a 2012 third round pick who spent 2013 at Greenville of The South Atlantic League. Maddox, at least at this time, is not considered a high end prospect.
Sophomore Logan Hoggarth greeted Maddox with a single. .John Hennessy, a senior from Andover, MA, then doubled and B.C. had something stirring. A ground out got one run home and a single by Geoffrey Murphy scored Hennessy. The game actually ended on a base hit. Senior Nick Sciorti singled to left but Murphy got nailed at the plate. Keury De La Cruz to Blake Swihart.
Tomorrow the Grapefruit League opens up for the Sox as they hook up with the Twins at Jet Blue.