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Courtesy-Dianne DeStefano

Playing in a spring league with club teams from Sacred Heart University to University of Maine-Orno, there is some good competition out there for the Saints.  Coming off a 3-7 fall season in the New England Club Baseball Association, the team was looking to come out of the gates hot last Sunday.

After being down 3-0 for most of the game and no-hit for 5 innings, left fielder Jon Hardacker hit a single to left that would score the Saints’ first run in center fielder Dylan Stratton, who reached on a walk and stole a base.  Hardacker would steal second and move to third on a fielding error for shortstop Kevin Murphy to drive him home on a double with the game’s second run.

For an exclamation point to the inning, catcher Jimmy Oxsalida ripped a single to center, scoring both Murphy and third baseman Jeff Grossman.

Emmanuel pulled ahead 4-3 and held it til the bottom of the ninth inning thanks to a strong performance by starting pitcher Wes Cowles.  A soft hit up the middle would score the winning run, giving Cowles the complete game loss, but a huge confidence boost for the Saints in their first game of the season, as well as their first action outdoors since they started practicing in early March.

With more performances like Sunday’s, the team hopes to prove that they deserve a shot at being a varsity sport at Emmanuel.

 

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Lester pulled early - noontimesports.com

The Boston Red Sox, the team to beat in the 2011 season according to almost all baseball experts across the board, is off to an 0-3 start this season.

All three loses have come at the hands of the reigning American League Champion Texas Rangers, who swept the Sox in the opening series.

The Sox bats, led by David Ortiz and his two home runs-already twice as many as he hit all of last April-have been somewhat quiet, being outscored 26-11.  Manager Terry Francona moved the batting order around in all three games, mixing up righties and lefties in an effort to find where his hitters are most comfortable.

During Spring Training, the Red Sox knew there were some issues in the pitching department that needed to be addressed, but did they think their starters would get off to this dismal of a start?  Jon Lester and Clay Buccholz, 0-1 records each, were top Cy Young Award candidates last year, and the once shut-down closer in Jonathan Papelbon came in today in a non-save situation, and gave up two hits, a run and a walk.

Can the Red Sox recover?  Yes, it’s three games into the season, let’s hope the rust is shaken off and they can kick it into gear against the Cleveland Indians.

 

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Jason Varitek giving Alex Rodriguez the business.

Opening Day for Major League Baseball is on April 1st.  The Boston Red Sox are at the tail end of their Spring Training schedule, and with just 3 games left, their record is 11-18.  A $205 million payroll this season is quite a tab for a round of mediocrity.

Spring Training is a time to work out players and gear them up for the season, not worrying about statistics.  But now that the club is getting closer to April 1st, using pitchers and hitters as they would in the regular season, the Sox have dropped 10 games in a row.

What can we expect from the Sox this season?  With former All-Stars at all but 2 positions in the field, this season should be as big as 2004 or 2007.  Adding Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Bobby Jenks have easily been the biggest moves of this offseason, and as the Sox say in those corny black-and-white NESN commercials, “we’re all in” for some baseball into October.  Looking forward to a big year for Red Sox Nation.

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