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 at Fenway


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 champions!


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.


Steve Englert


Previous Entries

Hahvahd and Huskies Highlight Week (4/22/03)

Snow, Hokies Make for Tough Week (4/15/03)

Curt 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)