The Red Sox spring training games will start Thursday, with a traditional college double header against Northeastern University, followed by Boston College, according to the Red Sox news office.
Hunter Gordon, a senior at Boston College, said that although it is an exhibition game, the Red Sox players do not think of this game as a joke.
“It’s nerve wracking going out there, because you don’t want to miss a spot,” said Gordon, who pitched the spring training game when he was a sophomore.
Gordon said he only pitched one inning that year, but he faced a lot of the star athletes such as Dustin Pedroia and Marco Scutaro. He walked a few players, and one hit a ground ball, but for the most part Gordon said that “anything over the plate, they’re crushing it.”
Zanna Ollove, a spokeswoman for the athletics department at BC, said that this is the 23rd time BC has played at spring training.
Northeastern has participated since at least 2004, according to Michael Black, a spokesman for the university’s athletic department.
“It’s just a chance for them to bring some college kids in and have fun,” Black said. “It’s a good time for everyone involved.”
Dylan Maki, a senior at Northeastern, said this is the first year he will be pitching in the spring training game.
“I’m just excited to see those guys I watch on TV, to be up against them,” he said. “I’m not really worried about how I play.”
Maki, who is from Gloucester, said that they always lose to the Red Sox, though his sophomore year Northeastern was ahead for part of the game.
“We were winning for the first few innings,” he said. “But they still ended up crushing us.”
Pete Castoldi, a junior at Northeastern, said that last year he went to bat against Jon Lester, and got a hit.
“It’s almost like I blacked out up there,” Castoldi said. “It was so cool.”
Tom Bourdon, a junior at BC, said he learns a lot from playing against the Red Sox, and that it is far different from watching a game.
“You can watch them prepare in the dugout, taking their batting practices,” said Bourdon, who plays center field. “It’s a whole different experience.”
Gordon, who is from Swampscott, said they have the chance to meet the players, and get some autographs.
“Last year I got to talk to Big Papi for a bit. He was an absolute riot,” Gordon said. “They’re a bunch of good guys.”
The Red Sox win these exhibition games, he said but the games are sometimes close. In a recent spring training game, Gordon said that BC and the Red Sox were tied for the majority of the innings. The Red Sox then pulled ahead for a 6-2 win, he said.
“We hold our own against them,” he said.
Katherine Landergan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.
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