Red Sox Top Northeastern 3-0 in Spring Training Opener

For the first time since September 29th, 2019, the Boston Red Sox have won a baseball game, as they opened up exhibition play on Friday afternoon with a 3-0 victory over the Northeastern Huskies in a seven-inning contest.

The plan for the Sox was to use one pitcher per inning on Friday, and that’s exactly what they stuck to.

25-year-old Australian left-hander Daniel McGrath got things started by walking the first two hitters he faced, but settled down with the help of his catcher Connor Wong in addition to striking out a pair to keep things scoreless.

From there, recently-acquired right-handed reliever Austin Brice fanned two more hitters and got more help from Wong in a scoreless second, righty Robinson Leyer struck out two and stranded two runners in a scoreless third, Trevor Hildenberger scattered one hit in an otherwise clean fourth frame, Denyi Reyes retired three of the four he faced in a shutout fifth, and Adam Lau maneuvered his way around a leadoff walk thanks to Roldani Baldwin in a scoreless top half of the sixth.

After his side finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth, 24-year-old righty Eduardo Bazardo closed things out for Boston by sitting down the only three hitters he faced in order in the seventh to secure the 3-0 victory over the Huskies.

In total, Sox pitching combined for seven scoreless innings while yielding just four hits and three walks to go along with 11 total strikeouts on the afternoon.

On the other side of things, the Northeastern pitching staff held their own for a while against the Boston bats, albeit without any regulars in the lineup.

It wasn’t until the bottom half of the sixth inning when the Red Sox offense finally woke up.

There, with right-hander Rick Burroni on the mound for Northeastern, Sox prospect Marcus Wilson led things off by drawing a walk in his first and only plate appearance.

The 23-year-old then proceeded to steal second base to put the go-ahead run in scoring position with no outs for Josh Ockimey, who fanned for the first out of the frame.

A Jagger Rusconi groundout back to the pitcher meant that the Red Sox were just an out away from coming away with nothing, but Ryan Fitzgerald made sure that did not happen.

Yes, the 2019 Carolina League All-Star lined an RBI single to right-center field deep enough to plate Wilson from second and put his side on the board first.

Two more walks drawn by Baldwin and Tyler Esplin ended the day for Burroni and filled the bases for longtime PawSox mainstay Jantzen Witte.

Facing off against Huskies right-hander Henry Ennen, the 30-year-old veteran laced a two-run single through the middle of the infield to score both Fitzgerald and Baldwin from second and third.

That clutch two-RBI knock gave the Red Sox a 3-0 advantage, which would go on to be Friday’s final score in the spring training opener.

Some notes from this win:

Top prospect Jeter Downs reached base on an infield single in his first at-bat in a Red Sox uniform. He also committed a fielding error in the top half of the third and grounded into an inning-ending double play in the bottom half.

Downs was not originally slated to start for Boston on Friday, but because infielder C.J. Chatham was scratched from the lineup due to right shoulder soreness, the 21-year-old got the call instead.

Marcus Wilson will presumably begin the 2020 campaign in Double-A Portland alongside fellow outfield prospect Jarren Duran, who went 1-for-2 with a third-inning single on Friday.

The only players with big-league experience who played in this contest were Marco Hernandez, Rusney Castillo, John Andreoli, Juan Centeno, Austin Brice, and Trevor Hildenberger.

Next up for the Red Sox, Grapefruit League play begins on Saturday with an afternoon contest against the Tampa Bay Rays at JetBlue Park.

Left-hander Brian Johnson is scheduled to get the start for Boston, while Tampa Bay has yet to name a starter.

It had to have been a tough offseason for Johnson, as the 29-year-old was essentially demoted off the Sox’ 40-man roster back in November.

Still, Johnson snuck through waivers and remains with Boston in a lesser capacity than he had been the previous three or so seasons. He’ll have a chance to prove himself and perhaps open some eyes on Saturday afternoon.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM EDT on NESN.

Red Sox Select North Andover High School’s Sebastian Keane in 11th Round of 2019 MLB Draft

After making eight selections from rounds three to 10 on Tuesday, the Red Sox kicked off the final day of the 2019 MLB Draft by taking a local right-handed pitcher with their first pick Wednesday.

Sebastian Keane, 19 and a native of North Andover, Mass.was selected by Boston with the 347th overall pick in the 11th round of this year’s amateur draft.

Soon to be graduating from North Andover High School this Friday, Keane was named the Gatorade Massachusetts Baseball Player of the Year last month for his efforts.

Listed at 6’3″ and 165 pounds, Keane was ranked 140th out of the top 200 prospects for this year’s draft, per MLB.com, which is pretty impressive when you consider how high school and preparatory baseball in Massachusetts compares to the sport in other states.

Here are his scouting grades, again using MLB.com:

Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45

Already committed to play baseball at Northeastern University in Boston, it will be interesting to see if the Red Sox can offer the young hurler enough to forego that commitment and instead go pro.

Coming into Wednesday 9-1 with an 0.35 ERA and 98 strikeouts over 51 2/3 innings pitched for North Andover this spring, Keane will be making the start against Franklin High in the MIAA Super 8 Tournament later on tonight.

 

#RedSox’ Sixth-Ranked Prospect Bobby Dalbec Homers in First at Bat of Spring Training

The Red Sox opened up exhibition play on Friday with a 6-0 win over the Northeastern Huskies baseball team.

Prospect Bobby Dalbec, ranked sixth in the Red Sox’ system by MLB Pipeline, got the scoring started for Boston with a second inning solo blast to dead center off of Northeastern’s David Stiehl.

Jagger Rusconi and Tzu-Wei Lin collected a pair of RBI in the bottom half of the third, while Tate Matheny and Cole Sturgeon combined to do the same in the fourth.

Tyler Dearden, a 29th round selection in 2017, wrapped up the scoring for Boston in the sixth by driving in Joseph Monge on a two out RBI triple.

Blake Swihart caught the first four innings of this contest. He went hitless in two plate appearances.

On the pitching side of things, prospect Mike Shawaryn got the starting nod for the Red Sox. The former University of Maryland product limited Northeastern to just one hit while striking out a pair in two scoreless innings of work.

From there, Darwinzon Hernandez, Domingo Tapia, and Josh Taylor combined for two hits, one walk, and six strikeouts over five shutout frames.

Hernandez, who accounted for three of those strikeouts in two innings, is ranked as the seventh best prospect in the Red Sox’ system.

When asked about Dalbec’s homer, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said, “That was pretty good. Straight center. Yeah. That’s pretty good.”

The 23-year-old Dalbec slashed .257/.361/.558 with 32 home runs and 109 RBI in 129 games between High A Salem and Double A Portland last season.

Dalbec and Red Sox top prospect Michael Chavis, who went 0-for-1 on Friday, should both be interesting to watch over the course of the spring.

Next up for Boston is the Grapefruit League opener against the New York Yankees on Saturday at JetBlue Park.

Per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, the Red Sox will start Rafael Devers at designated hitter, Sandy Leon at catcher, Bryce Brentz, Gorkys Hernandez, and Rusney Castillo in the outfield, Tzu-Wei Lin at second base, Josh Ockimey at first base, and CJ Chatham at short stop.

Josh Smith, Marcus Walden, Travis Lakins, and Erasmo Ramirez are all expected to pitch as well, although a starter has yet to be named.

First pitch against New York on Saturday is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET.

 

The #RedSox Play Live Baseball Today.

At long last, Red Sox baseball is back. It’s been approximately 117 days since the club clinched their ninth World Series title over the Los Angeles Dodgers last October, but now it’s timt to defend that trophy and it starts with an exhibition game against the Northeastern Huskies baseball team on Friday.

Ninth-ranked Red Sox prospect RHP Mike Shawaryn, a 2016 fifth round pick, will make the start, while Darwinzon Hernandez, Domingo Tapia, and Josh Taylor are all expected to take the mound Friday as well.

Shawaryn, 24, posted a 3.44 ERA over 26 appearances (25 starts) and 149.1 innings pitched between Double A Portland and Triple A Pawtucket this past season.

This is how the Red Sox will line up behind him, with Blake Swihart behind the plate and Christian Vazquez serving as the designated hitter.

Get ready and strap in. From here on out, we got Red Sox baseball for the next eight-plus months. Time to defend the World Series crown.

Grapefruit League action for Boston opens up Saturday against the New York Yankees at JetBlue Park. First pitch for that contest is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET.

Rest in Peace, Nick Cafardo.