Healthy again, Chin
raring to pitch
Every time Andrew Chin takes the mound for the Boston College baseball team, his confidence rises and his reluctance to rear back and throw like he did prior to Tommy John surgery subsides.
The redshirt freshman from Newton missed all of last season for the Eagles, and didn’t pitch intrasquad games until the fall.
Now healthy and raring to go nearly two years removed from his arm operation, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound lefthander has picked up a win in relief and absorbed a loss in his first start this season.
There were positive signs in both outings: Two weekends ago, on a snowy Saturday afternoon at Elon College in North Carolina, Chin came on in the seventh and pitched 1⅓ scoreless innings.
Last Sunday in Greenville, N.C., he went 4⅔ innings, allowing four hits and three earned runs, and walking three Illinois batters. But his six strikeouts and working out of a bases-loaded jam in the third inning were impressive.
“It's been a long two years so I was happy to be pitching,” said Chin, a Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School graduate and a three-time Independent School League all-star who was taken in the fifth round of Major League Baseball’s 2011 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays.
“As long as I can keep executing and give our team a chance, I am going to be really pleased,” he said.
BC head coach Mike Gambino predicted Chin will continue to improve when he totally trusts himself while rearing back for that something extra.
“The ball just jumps out of his hand, he has a really good changeup that keeps hitters off balance, and he's developing a breaking ball,” said Gambino, “so when all that comes together his mental approach to the game will also change.”
Chin said the butterflies were definitely there when he made his college debut against Elon.
“I had been disappointed not pitching last year,” he said, “but I wasn't ready and I had to deal with it. Time was the healer for me. I did my rehab and got bigger and stronger. You're never quite the same after that surgery, but it doesn't mean you can't be better than before.”
Chin's teammates include first baseman Chris Shaw, a 26th-round pick of the New York Mets out of Lexington High last June, and another freshman, reliever John Nicklas of Foxborough, who pitched in the ISL for St. Sebastian's School in Needham.
Shaw, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound lefthanded hitter, starred last summer for the Nashua Silver Knights of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. He was a Globe All-Scholastic and Middlesex League all-star last spring. Nicklas was a three-time ISL all-star who also played football for St. Sebastian’s.
“Before Chris leaves BC he'll be one of the premier players in the country,” Gambino said. “His power is obvious and he can hit to all fields, and he was just awesome in the Futures league. And John, as he learns to pitch at this level and mature, is going to be very good for us.”
Shaw said just putting on the BC uniform and getting acclimated to the college game is already a huge accomplishment.
“But it's also just another step to where I want to be, and I'm taking Coach Gambino's advice to just be myself, and do the things that have gotten me here.”
with a vengeance
An on-ice collision sidelined Babson College junior winger Troy Starrett of Bellingham for more than four weeks, but he returned with a vengeance last weekend.
The Catholic Memorial graduate scored twice and added an assist and gave the third-seeded Beavers an emotional lift in their 7-1 ECAC East hockey quarterfinal win over visiting Skidmore.
Babson (15-6-5) was scheduled to play in the conference tournament this weekend at Norwich University.
“It was a substantial injury. Troy couldn't do any physical activity for 2½ weeks and he skated for eight days before he could play again,” said Babson head coach Jamie Rice. “He was having a tremendous year for us, and the way he came back couldn't have been scripted any better.
“He's a heart-and-soul kind of player — courageous, strong, energetic — and he pushes himself to the limit every day. He makes us a better team.”
Starrett, who had 6 goals and 7 assists his first two seasons, had more than doubled his career totals with 8 goals and 7 assists in 17 games.
One of his teammates, senior captain Zeke Testa of Wellesley, was named ECAC East Goalie of the Year and to the conference's first team.
Dixon delivers for Stonehill basketball
Former Wellesley High star Mary Louise Dixon has been playing the best basketball of her career for the Stonehill College women's team (23-3), which is hosting a Northeast-10 Conference quarterfinal Sunday afternoon.
The 5-foot-4 junior guard earned back-to-back Player of the Week honors from the NE-10, the first two of her career, highlighted by her 16-point, 5-assist, 4-rebound, 3-steal effort in a 73-66 win over previously undefeated Bentley on Feb. 23.
“M.L. ran our schemes perfectly against Bentley,” said Stonehill head coach Trisha Brown.
“One of the things that kept drawing us back while we were recruiting her was M.L.'s ability, despite being one of the smaller players on the court, to make things happen.”
She is averaging a team-high 13.7 points, 6.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game, and ranks third in rebounding (6.6).
Through Tuesday’s regular-season final against Saint Anselm, Dixon was shooting 44.2 percent (103 for 233) from the field, and a conference-leading 85.6 percent (125 for 146) from the free-throw line.