Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
The Red Sox took the first half of their traditional college doubleheader with an unusually close 3-0 victory over Northeastern.
It's not the sort of score we're used to seeing in these games against college teams, but the Red Sox defeated Northeastern 3-0 in their first game of the Spring.
There were actually a couple of tight moments for the Red Sox early on, as Northeastern started each of their first two innings with a single and a steal. The first came from Aaron Barbosa off of Joel Hanrahan courtesy of a bad route taken by Jonny Gomes (something we can expect to see a lot of from him this year), the second from Connor Lyons on a jammed shot to center.
Both pitchers would turn to the strikeout to get around their unfortunate starts, however, piling up five between them as they held Northeastern off the board. Bard even hit 94 on his first pitch--a good sign this early in spring given the way 2012 ended.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox got their offense going with two outs in the bottom half of the first, with Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubling home Shane Victorino to put Boston on the board. That would end up being the only run produced entirely by Boston's starters. Dustin Pedroia had a particularly unimpressive day, striking out and grounding into a double play--a performance that will certainly earn some comments from teammates in the locker room.
The Sox would get the rest of their runs, surprisingly enough, from the team's light-bat middle infielders: Pedro Ciriaco and Jose Iglesias, who took over second and shortstop respectively in the later innings. Ciriaco hit a ground ball to right to score Ryan Lavarnway in the fifth, while Jose Iglesias lined to left to bring home Saltalamacchia--Boston's most productive batter of the game--in the sixth. After giving up a pair of two-out baserunners, Pedro Beato finished the game by striking out Will Dougherty.
All-in-all, the Red Sox will be happy that nobody ended up getting hurt, and Northeastern (particularly the pitchers) will be very happy to have stayed so close.