Steve Englert is an assistant coach at Boston College.
Each week, he will provide
a journal of the previous week's happenings from Chestnut Hill.
April 29, 2003
There's Nothing Like Baseball
The team was eager to get back out and tee it up ASAP,
hoping to stack up some wins and rid itself of the sour taste left from last
weekend's sweep at Rutgers. After enjoying off-days on Easter Sunday and Boston
Marathon Monday, Tuesday's inclement weather postponed the Beanpot Tournament
until the following day.
The Beanpot is an annual two-day tournament consisting of
four Massachusetts schools, three of which are in a five-mile radius: BC,
Northeastern and Harvard. UMass rounds out the field. Playing against local
schools always generates intensity, but adding to the mix, the games are played
on the hallowed grounds of Fenway Park, where Hall of Famers "Yaz" (the last
Triple Crown winner), "Teddy Ballgame" (the last .400 hitter) and "The Babe"
(the greatest ever) all suited up for the hometown Red Sox. "Pesky's Pole" down
in the right-field corner, the deep triangle in dead center and, of course, the
infamous "Wall" (aka Green Monster) and its manual scoreboard make it one of
baseball's greatest cathedrals.
On the first day, we drew Northeastern under the lights,
and any ill feelings of the tough weekend were diminished. Paying homage to the
local hitting legends, our offense pounded out 13 hits and plated as many runs
in a 13-7 victory.
On Thursday, we play the 'wicked smaht' guys from Hahvahd
for the second time in a week for all the marbles and the rights to a year's
worth of chest-thumping. The following brow-beating anecdote is solely for
entertainment purposes, and I hope I don't come across sounding like a jackass.
Both sides are allowed to take a pregame infield-outfield
before the championship game, and a lot of suggestions are put forth as to how
we should start out: ball over 'The Wall,' ball off 'The Wall,' ball into the
bleacher seats in center, etc. There is something about seeing a ball smash off
that big green mass, and when a certain staff member threw out a free round of
golf if, with one attempt only, you hit the ladder hanging 20 feet down from the
top, it was settled. There was a lot of yapping as we took the field to begin
and, playing a power fade (more of a mistake if anything), I launched a fungo
that clipped the very last rung on the bottom of the ladder. Holy $%&#! Free
greens fees. I couldn't do it again in a thousand swings. Sometimes it's just
better to be lucky than good. We barely finished the pre-game with all the
laughter going on in the field.
Our bats stayed hot in the tourney, with shortstop Ryan
Leahy (MVP) depositing his first homer of '03 into the recently installed seats
atop the Green Monster. Harvard made a late run at our early lead, but we held
off the rally, playing solid defense, and took home the hardware. Beanpot
The staff went off to the CherryTree, the old local
favorite eatery, to enjoy a celebratory dinner consisting of the usual orders of
hot wings, steak tips and cold libations.
On Friday, Mother Nature threw a perfect day of sunshine
and blue skies at us for our home opener against URI. The field looked great,
and the students were out in droves to support the team and enjoy the weather.
The offensive surge continued as the team collected seven
runs on 15 hits in a 7-2 win. Capturing the Beanpot title and winning three
straight, not to mention finally having some home cooking, are just what the
team was looking for entering the upcoming conference weekend.
Saturday's rain pushed back the conference matchup with
Seton Hall to Sunday. We pulled the tarp in the morning, and the sun came out in
the afternoon for the start of the first of two. The team rode the pitching
efforts of Chris Lambert, who had a no-no going into the sixth, and the offense
once again belted out double-digit hits, with left fielder Jason Delaney hitting
for the cycle, in the 8-1 win.
The Pirates took the early lead in the second game, but we
tied it on two solo jacks. Each side was held in check offensively for the most
part, until the eighth, when we scraped one across and won a tight 3-2 ballgame.
The victory leaves us at 7-7 in conference, and a broom
here could put us back in the Big East hunt. It turned out all for naught on
Monday as it was tit for tat, only this time Seton Hall used the long ball,
dropping two big flies on us to punch our ticket, winning 4-2.
It was not a bad week for us, going 5-1, playing two games
in the big-league park, collecting a Beanpot trophy, playing at home for the
first time under beautiful conditions. The only thing missing was the big sweep,
for which I would trade that free golf in a heartbeat. Our offense really came
on during the week, finishing with 67 hits in the six games, and the defense and
pitching were solid. We just need to get that knockout punch in conference play
to pull off a much-needed sweep to keep us alive in the Big East.
and Huskies Highlight Week (4/22/03)
Hokies Make for Tough Week (4/15/03)
Gowdy Brings Snow Back to Northeast (4/8/03)
Eagles' Wins Rise with Temperature (4/1/03)
Return to Florida Not as Rewarding (3/25/03)
Weather or Not... Eagles Battling Elements (3/18/03)
Wins Bring Fun in the Sun (3/11/03)
Hanging with Nomar and the Gang (3/4/03)
Working the Kinks Out (2/25/03)
(photo courtesy of BC Media Relations Office)