EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 11, 2014

Sports in a Minute: McAuliffe has big outing for NECC

By Bill Burt
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — McAuliffe has dominant start

North Reading resident Ryan McAuliffe has hopes of getting a Division 1 scholarship. First, though, he’s got to prove himself in the classroom and on the field at Northern Essex Community College.

Well, if this past weekend is a precursor of things to come, the hard-throwing 6-foot-5 pitcher has got a bright future. McAuliffe threw a one-hitter this past weekend for NECC’s 5-0 win over Quinsigamond Community College. Northern Essex, improved to 9-6 overall and 4-0 in the conference.

For his performance, which included nine strikeouts and two walks over seven inning, McAuliffe was named the NJCAA Division III Pitcher for the Week.

Ump takes a year off

One of the most accomplished and recognized umpires in Major League Baseball will be sidelined this season due to a back injury — and left wondering if he’ll be able to resume a big-league career spanning 31 years.

Tim McClelland, who was the umpire who ruled George Brett’s home run against the New York Yankees in 1983 was an out because of excessive pine tar, said recently that doctors decided against clearing him to work this season during the league’s annual preseason retreat in Phoenix.

MLB announced McClelland would start the season on the “disabled list,” but he told The Des Moines Register recently that he will miss the entire season and is uncertain if he’ll be able to return despite plans to consider it.

“I’m not working this year,” said McClelland of West Des Moines. “I’m not retiring, I’m just on the disabled list. I’m going to rest, and we have to re-evaluate at the end of the year.”

Da Costa still might return

A few weeks ago it was reported here that former Merrimack forward Stephane Da Costa’s gruesome broken nose injury may force him to miss the rest of the Binghamton Senators’ season after he took a stick to his face, requiring reconstructive surgery.

But Binghamton Senators head coach Luke Richardson told WBNG recently that he hopes to have Da Costa back by the end of the season, in time for the AHL playoffs.

“That was one of the worst most breaks I’ve seen,” Richardson said, “It looks like a car accident. It’s basically crushed in.”

Eagle becomes an Eagle

Lynnfield resident Jake Burt will go from being an Eagle at St. John’s Prep to a Boston College Eagle. The junior tight end from Lynnfield had plenty of great offers to choose from and made a verbal commitment to play college football at the Heights late yesterday afternoon.

“It all happened pretty fast this week,” said Burt, who also played a key role for the basketball team. “BC had made me an offer on March 15, and I decided I was ready to commit. I am so excited to be an Eagle, and I’m glad the whole process is behind me. I really didn’t think I was going to make my choice so soon, and hadn’t set a time table.”

Burt was a key performer on the SJP basketball team. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder is no relation to North Andover resident, Max Burt.

Walsh starring in dual role

North Andover resident Brandon Walsh continues to wow everyone at UMass Amherst in several roles. He is the squad’s top catcher, part-time starter, part-time reliever and designated hitter. He went seven inning allowing one earned in a big 5-4 win over Dayton recently. In the next game, a 5-3 win over Northeastern on Wednesday (Beanpot) he had an RBI on a fielder’s choice in a big three-run inning that eventually won the game.

Ex-Astros in pros

How many high schools in this area can say they have two professional athletes currently playing at the highest level. Well, Pinkerton Academy can.

Two former Astros, both of whom played for long-time Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly (football and lacrosse), currently play Major League Lacrosse.

Faceoff specialist Bobby Dattilo, a 2008 Pinkerton grad, plays for the Chicago Machine and attackman Steven Boyle (2006) is a regular for the Rochester Rattlers

Did you know ...

In 2013, the Red Sox finished 12 games ahead of the Yankees, Boston’s largest season-ending lead over New York since the Sox finished 1991 in second place, 13 games ahead of the fifth-place Yanks.