BASEBALL: Eagles Show Promise Over Summer
Four Boston College Baseball Players Took Their Talents To The Cape Cod Baseball League
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Boston College was well-represented in the Cape Cod Baseball League this summer, as four players took part in the nation’s top collegiate summer league.
Juniors Tom Bourdon, John Hennessy, and Eric Stevens all played for the Chatham Anglers, while senior Matt McGovern played for the league’s runner-up, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox.
Bourdon and Stevens were with the Anglers for the duration of the summer, making key contributions and leading the team to the playoffs.
Stevens, the Eagles’ only pitcher to play on the Cape this summer, started the season off strong when he pitched six innings of one-hit ball against the Brewster Whitecaps to earn his first win.
“It’s always great to have a good start,” Stevens said. “It was fortunate that I threw well in the first game and started the year off right for the team. It will always stick with me.”
After that, Stevens had an up and down season, but recognizes that he was facing some of the top talent in the country on a nightly basis.
“It made you really focus and concentrate,” Stevens said of the top-notch competition. “You really have to step your game up because after a while, if you keep making the same mistakes, you’re just going to get hit around. You have to make adjustments.”
Bourdon also has fond memories of a game in which he played the part of hero for the Anglers. On July 15, in Falmouth, Bourdon hit a double in the top of the ninth, moving the go-ahead run to third. That runner would come in as the winning run after a wild pitch during the next at-bat.
“I came in and pinch hit,” Bourdon said. “I was able to go two for two to help the team win the game in the ninth inning. That was definitely one of my favorite moments.”
For Hennessy, the season was a bit shorter because he did not join his BC teammates in Chatham until Aug. 5. Yet the abbreviated stay on the Cape did not diminish the experience for the Andover, Mass., native, who has been spending his summers on the Cape at his house in Harwich for much of his life.
“I had been to a lot of games, so it was great to finally be on the field and it was great for my parents to watch that,” Hennessy said.
With Bourdon and Stevens already on the roster, Hennessy had no trouble fitting in with his teammates.
“I had actually been up there for a few days before, and I met a few of the guys,” Hennessy said. “They saw me sitting in the dugout and they were all like, ‘Hey, weren’t we hanging with you last night?’ All the guys were great, and everyone in the whole Chatham program came up and introduced themselves to me, from the trainers to the PA guy.”
McGovern did not get to play with his BC teammates this summer, as he was with the Red Sox in Yarmouth-Dennis, but he did enjoy playing against the Anglers and seeing his friends.
“It’s always fun to play against those guys,” McGovern said. “It always makes the game more exciting to watch them hit or talk to your coaches about how you think you should pitch them because you know them so well.”
McGovern also had the unique experience of being part of a team that made it all the way to the league championship, where Wareham bested the Red Sox in a three-game series.
“It was such a great experience,” McGovern said. “I made such great friends, and it was actually devastating when we lost because we were three outs away.”
All four players saw this summer as a great learning experience both on and off the field that will help them this year back at BC.
“I learned a lot about myself as a hitter,” McGovern said. “I can share some of the knowledge with other teammates. And the way the team was run, we had great chemistry, and we have that here. The teams with the best chemistry usually go the farthest.”
“The level of competition we were playing at, that’s top-notch for amateur baseball,” Bourdon said. “We’ve seen it all. We’ve seen guys throwing up to 98, 99 mph and [Stevens] has faced hitters who have hit multiple home runs.”
“The competition pushes you a little bit more, and that’s something you can bring back to your college team and make everybody else a little bit better,” Stevens added.
It was a special summer for these players, who will look to take their experience and success and translate it onto the field when their season rolls around next spring. BC will look to continue the strong development of its players to prepare them for hopeful careers.