Thursday, February 26, 2009

BC Baseball NotThe Red Sox kicked off the Grapefruit League season with a game at City of Palms Park in Fort Meyers, Fla. against Boston College, allowing BC student manager David Hasebroock a chance for some souvenirs.
(Jim Davis/Globe Staff) from Ft. Myers

The Red Sox kicked off their Spring season today with their annual game against the Boston College Eagles. Josh Beckett had a strong start for the Sox, throwing two perfect innings and striking out two.

For BC, Geoff Oxley got the start, pitching one scoreless inning and walking two. Prior to the game, Boston College players assembled along the first base line to watch their home team players such as Mike Lowell and David Ortiz take batting practice.

It wasnt until one BC player was brave enough to approach the batting cage and not get stopped by security that the rest of the team felt they could get away with it, too. The whole team moved off the line and crowded the cage to watch Julio Lugo take BP.

It was there we found Mike Augustine, first baseman for the Boston College Eagles, who is not new to playing against the Red Sox. He played against them last year, too, and had the opportunity to face Beckett. According to Augustine before the game, even though the guys normally root for the Sox, today, the players treat this just like every other game. He stated that stepping into the batter's box against a local star is a "big addrenline rush, a different feeling" and that it is "more fun than normal" and "not intimidating."

Apparently so, as Augustine later knocked out the first BC hit of the game against Sox prospect Kris Johnson in the fourth inning - a hit that helped set the stage for Mike Belfiore who later that inning broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single.Alongside Augustine was BC pitcher JB McDonald of Danvers, MA. His goal after school is to play baseball at the next level. He's already received letters of interest from 5 or 6 Major League teams to play after college. Since NCAA players are not allowed to have agents, these inquiries are something he needs to manage himself. What will he do after school if he doesnt play baseball? "Let's just say I'm not interviewing for jobs right now," McDonald stated. Can you blame him? His Eagles were about to play the Red Sox when asked. Meanwhile, Jeff Lozer was suited up for the Eagles by the dugout steps taking it all in. If you dont recognize Lozer's name from the BC roster, that's because it's not on it.

Jeff played college ball with BC skipper Mikio Aoki at Davidson back in the day. At a recent coaches convention, Mik offered Jeff to coach third base against the Red Sox as a Christmas present. Really? Anybody reading, feel free to stuff my stocking with that come December.While the Red Sox ultimately defeated BC for their 17th straight year, BC led the game, 1-0, going into the 5th inning. Had it rained, a BC win would have been official. As it is, the game lasted just 1 hour and 30 minutes.

That's what no televsion commercials will do to speed up a game. That, and the fact that the annual game lasts just 7 innings. Northeastern University is the next college team in line to play the Red Sox this Saturday.

Tune in. (Photos to come to

Brett Rudy wrote this article from his perch at City of Palms Park in Ft Myers

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