Huskies fall to Red Sox at Spring Training, 3-0


Riley Robinson

Baseball plays the second game of a doubleheader against Holy Cross Saturday, March 16, 2019 at Parsons Field.

Jordan Baron, news staff

The Northeastern University baseball team fell to the Boston Red Sox in the annual Spring Training exhibition game Friday afternoon by a score of 3-0.

The game remained locked at a 0-0 tie for five and a half innings of the seven frame game, before the Red Sox struck three times in the bottom of the sixth to secure themselves the winning margin. Senior reliever Rick Burroni took the loss for the Huskies (0-3), while 2019 minor leaguer and RHP Adam Lau got the win in the four-hit shutout.

The opening NU at-bats looked promising, as leadoff hitter and senior second-baseman Scott Holzwasser walked to open the game. He was quickly caught stealing trying to get to second, and although senior outfielder Kyle Peterson drew another walk off left-handed 2019 AAA pitcher Daniel McGrath, two quick outs withdrew the Red Sox from the minimal threat.

Renowned Sox prospect and blockbuster trade piece Jeter Downs dribbled a base hit to junior third-baseman Ian Fair in the bottom half of the first, but proved no threat as the other three Red Sox hitters were retired without problem.

Junior outfielder Jeff Costello grabbed the next Husky hit with one out in the top half of the second, squaring up a pitch and lining a ball into left field that was cut off by John Andreoli. Costello hustled along the basepaths and slid head first into second base with a double. A strikeout and a stealing attempt quickly ended the scoring threat.

Freshmen pitcher Thomas Balboni checked in for NU in the bottom of the second, and proceeded to throw two scoreless frames versus his Major League opponents, allowing three hits and striking out one. The Sox did pose a threat in the bottom of the third, as they shot back-to-back singles through the infield to put the Huskies in a tough situation with two on and only one out. Still, Balboni remained calm and was able to get Downs to ground into a double play.

Speaking of Downs, the prospect had a tough showing in the field, specifically in the top of the third. The Husky bats pestered the shortstop with ground balls, as a Holzwasser line drive got past his glove and rolled into left field. The play was ruled as a single. A batter later, Fair grounded a slow dribbler towards Downs, who got his body in front of the ball but couldn’t get the glove on it, resulting in an error. The Sox got out of the inning, but the showing from the middle-infielder was less than impressive.

Freshman RHP Jake Gigliotti relieved Balboni in the fourth, and got into a jam before drawing another inning ending double play with two runners on. The fifth flew by and the Sox had enough of the scoreless drought.

Burroni came on to pitch for the Huskies and started off the bottom of the sixth in the worst way possible by walking minor league outfielder Marcus Wilson. Although Wilson stole second base, things seemed to be calming down for Burroni, as a strikeout and a subsequent groundout brought them within one out of getting through the jam.

However, second baseman Ryan Fitzgerald had other ideas. He shot a line drive to right-center field, scoring Wilson from second and providing the Sox with their first run of the game. A wild pitch and two more walks ended the afternoon for Burroni. His replacement was junior RHP Henry Ennen, who was faced with the seemingly impossible task of getting an out with the bases loaded against the Boston Red Sox.

Ennen did not rise to the occasion, as a ground ball up the middle off the bat of third-baseman Jantzen Witte rolled into centerfield to score two more runs, bringing the lead to 3-0 in favor of the Sox.

The Huskies could not recover, and were retired 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh as the Red Sox cruised to a shutout victory.

The Red Sox will continue their Spring Training schedule tomorrow at home against the Tampa Bay Rays, while the Huskies will travel to the University of South Florida for three games in two days against the Bulls (2-3).