By David Willis
---- — Hanigan makes history
Cincinnati Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan of Andover wrote his name into the Major League Baseball record books earlier this week, when he caught his second career no-hitter, both thrown by Homer Bailey.
Hanigan became just the second catcher in 50 years to catch two no-hitters from the same pitcher.
The only other battery to accomplish that feat in the last half century was Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay and Carlos Ruiz in 2010. Prior to that, no one had done it since Dodgers icon Sandy Koufax threw two straight to Johnny Roseboro in 1962-63.
It has been done eight times total since 1880. Hall of Fame catchers Yogi Berra and Roy Campanella are also on the list.
Yaz breaks through
Andover resident Mike Yastrzemski admits that his first hit in professional baseball, recorded last Sunday, was hardly a work of art.
“It was a 3-2 count and I was trying to stay in the at-bat,” Yastrzemski said. “I got jammed on a fastball inside and it broke my bat. But I managed to hit the ball up the middle into center field for a base hit.”
The former St. John’s Prep and Vanderbilt star and current Baltimore Orioles farmhand kicked off his professional career last week, notching that first hit in his first start with the Single-A Aberdeen Ironbirds. In his third start on Tuesday he added two hits, including an RBI and a run.
“It’s a little weird getting my feet wet at a new level,” he said. “But it’s still baseball. It’s still 60 feet, 6 inches from the mound to home and 90 feet from home to first base.”
Rothwell to UNH
Heavy-hitting Pentucket defensive back/running back Cody Rothwell will be playing his college football at the University of New Hampshire.
Rothwell had a breakout season with the Sachems last fall as a senior. He earned Eagle-Tribune All-Star honors, making 94 tackles and eight interceptions while rushing for 2,019 yards and 22 touchdowns. He rushed for over 200 yards five times, three times going over 250.
The 5-foot-10, 176-pounder was also dynamic on kick returns. He becomes the sixth local currently with the Wildcats, including 2011 Eagle-Tribune defensive Player of the Year Jesse Trottier of Pinkerton and former Eagle-Tribune All-Star lineman Alex Blane of North Andover.
The Big K
Anyone who remembers the disaster that was Red Sox farmhand Shaq Thompson’s 2012 season likely was not surprised to hear this week that the outfielder would not be returning to the Sox this summer and instead focus on football full-time.
Thompson gained national exposer after going 0-for-39 with 37 strikeouts in 47 total plate appearances last season after being selected in the 18th round of the MLB Draft. He did attend some spring training with the Sox this year.
Thompson’s home is more on the gridiron. A Parade Magazine and USA Today All-American in high school, the linebacker starred as a true freshman at the University of Washington last fall, making 74 tackles and thee interceptions.
The Philadelphia 76ers will have a distinctly Boston feel for years to come.
After all, they drafted Hamilton’s Michael Carter-Williams and traded for Everett’s Nerlens Noel. The two played together for the Boston Amateur Basketball Club.