The Huntington News

Baseball season ends with positive note

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Chalk up another assist for Arman Sidhu. Except this time, it’s not a toss for an out on a routine ground ball.

Sidhu, the starting shortstop on the baseball team, was the first to phone Northeastern pitcher Justin Hedrick Monday and inform him of his new employer: the San Francisco Giants.

Hedrick was selected in the sixth round, 190th overall, by the Giants in the Major League baseball’s annual First-Year Player Draft. Teammate and fellow hurler Jordan Thomson was also taken by the Giants in the draft, going in the 15th round with the 520th overall pick.

“Arman was the first person to call me, he was like ‘Hey man, congratulations,” Hedrick said via phone Tuesday, his 22nd birthday. “I was like, ‘What, what do you mean?’ He had been listening to the draft and told me. Then a bunch of other people called me, actually the fifth person to call me was the actual team.”

That call, and that pick, set off quite a celebration for the Hedrick clan.

“I’m down on the Cape with my whole family and a bunch of friends,” he said. “We had a bonfire, a cookout with striped bass and lobster. It was awesome. They’re all going out and buying as much Giants gear as they can. Everybody started crying, everybody is just so happy it happened.

“It’s every kid’s dream growing up,” he added. “A bunch of people have come up to me and said ‘Man, you’re playing your dream right now.'”

After his contract is worked out, Hedrick expects to play for the Giants’ Single A minor league affiliate, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes from Keizer, Ore. The dream won’t end there, though.

“The sooner I get to face Barry Bonds the happier I’ll be. I really want to strike him out,” he said. “I’m not going to take off one day until I make the major league roster.”

For Thomson, a native of Ottawa, Ontario, the pro process will take longer to kickstart. Because he is unable to obtain a Visa to work in the United States, Thomson’s pro career will have to wait until at least 2005, Hedrick said. The Visa problem may have dropped Thomson’s draft value as well.

Still, the fact that Hedrick and Thomson will be reunited wasn’t a huge surprise.

“It kind of made sense, when they came to see us we both pitched,” the 6-foot-3-inch, 205-pound Hedrick said. “I had a feeling that if one team picked me up they were going to pick him up, too. It’s good to keep us together.”

Both Hedrick’s and Thomson’s NU careers ended last week in the America East conference tourney, bowing out after losing the first two games of the double-elimination playoff.

How’s this for irony: Thomson, who just a day prior had been awarded the America East Pitcher of the Year honors, had a disastrous two-inning, eight run performance in the opening game of the conference tourney last week.

Thomson pitched game one of the tournament for the top-seeded Huskies, a 15-6 NU loss to Stony Brook.

In the team’s next game of the double-elimination playoffs, starter Devin Monds lasted just a third of an inning before being pulled with his team losing to Albany, 4-0. Northeastern lost that game 8-1, ending their season shy of a return trip to the NCAA tournament.

And all this from a team whose strength was pitching?

Thomson ended the year with a record of 8-4 and an earned run average of 2.13 (which entering the tournament was sub-2.00.) Thomson also held opponents to a batting average of just .215. Monds, also of Ottawa, also had a strong year for the Huskies. He posted a record of 5-4 with an ERA of 4.55 and 45 strikeouts.

“I really wish I could have contributed or stepped on that mound, but the way the tournament lined up it just wasn’t our year,” Hedrick said of his team’s failed bid to repeat as AE champs and earn a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament. “Jordy was seven or eight-and-oh against Stony Brook and Devin has a good changeup for Albany, they were just hitting it that day.”

“Everybody is due to have a game like that,” he added. “It just kind of hurts to have it in the playoffs, but don’t take anything away from Jordy, he had a great season.”

Indeed he did. Thomson, along with Northeastern outfielder Jeff Heriot, played in the New England All-Star game May 30 at Fenway Park. Thomson tossed a pair of scoreless innings as the starting pitcher, while Heriot drove home a run in the eighth inning with a triple.

Heriot’s bat was just as active in the short-lived AE tournament run. Against Albany, Heriot accounted for the lone Husky run with a solo home run. In the first round loss to Stony Brook, Heriot socked a pair of homers for the Huskies (final record, 28-19.)

The student newspaper of Northeastern University
Baseball season ends with positive note