Thursday’s game is one that Northeastern University righthander Dylan Maki will not soon forget.
The Huskies senior captain and former Gloucester High hurler was called upon to start his team’s exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox at Jet Blue Park in Fort Myers, Fla., for the two teams’ yearly scrimmage. As it turned out, the senior pitcher held his own against some of the Red Sox most dangerous hitters — even ringing up a strikeout of former American League MVP Dustin Pedroia.
Maki threw 18 pitches in one inning of work against the Sox top six hitters, all of whom are expected to start or play a significant role with the team come April. He allowed two hits and one run in the inning.
Maki, a former Gloucester High School standout who helped pitch the Fishermen to the Division 1 North sectional title in 2009, started off with a bang inducing all star outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury into a groundout. Pedroia was up next, and his at bat turned out to be the highlight of the senior captain’s outing as he struck out the all-star second baseman looking with a fastball over the outside corner for out No. 2.
Shane Victorino followed with a weakly hit but well placed ground ball to second that resulted in an infield single. After plunking the next hitter, Johnny Gomes, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia touched up Maki for a RBI double to make it 1-0 Red Sox. Maki, however, pitched out of the jam, retiring Will Middlebrooks with a fly out to right field to end the inning.
The Red Sox went on to beat Northeastern 3-0, but it was a far cry from last year’s meeting where the Sox topped the Huskies 25-0.
The Sox and Huskies have met every year since 2003 at the beginning of Red Sox spring training in an exhibition game, the Huskies have yet to beat their Major League counterparts. Thursday was Maki’s first appearance in the yearly exhibition against the Red Sox.
Maki, the 2009 Gloucester Daily Times Athlete of the Year and Moynihan Lumber Student Athlete of the Year, Maki pitched 1 2/3 innings out of the bullpen in the team’s opening day win over the University of Houston. Northeastern just started the season last week and currently sports a 1-2 record. The Huskies are right back at it this weekend as they travel to Arlington, Texas, to take on the University of Texas Arlington for three games.