EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 9, 2013

Sports in a Minute


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — MAURAS GOES SUNDAY

The latest from Sean Farley’s Intenz 978 Boxing Team has unbeaten Agustine Mauras headed to the Dorchester Armory tomorrow in the first six-rounder of the young pro’s career.

Mauras and stablemate/unbeaten heavyweight Alexis Santos had each been slated to fight on the March 16 Tsongas Arena card in Lowell. But this opportunity was solid for Mauras. And Santos came up with a rib injury in training recently. The big fella will pass on both cards as he recovers.

DID YOU KNOW

Heading into last night’s exhibition game vs. the Twins, Salem’s Terry Doyle was tied for second on the Red Sox staff with 6 strikeouts in just 6.2 innings of relief work. The two-time Eagle-Tribune Baseball MVP has only walked one. He has allowed two earned runs for a 2.84 ERA.

A quick check around the bigs has Haverhill’s Carlos Pena hitting .222 with a homer and nine strikeouts in his new digs with the Houston Astros.

Andover’s Ryan Hanigan has been banged up a bit with the Reds this spring. He has a double in five official plate appearance with a pair of RBIs.

Londonderry’s Brian Wilson, recovering from Tommy John Surgery, is still looking for a big league home.

GOLF CHAT

Yes, we were pummeled again by the wrath of winter, but ... it’s time to talk a little golf.

Atkinson Country Club Director of Golf Peter Doherty reports that there will be some tweaking done to the annual Joseph F. Healey Memorial Golf Championship, one of the highlights on the region’s amateur golf scene. The Healey will be moved up to the last week of June, instead of the third week in July.

In addition, the 54-hole event will bump up a day, with rounds 1 and 2 on Wednesday and Thursday, and the championship round on Saturday.

So far, Haverhill Country Club has stepped up for 2013 and will host Round 2 of the event this summer. Commitments for the other two clubs are still awaiting approval.

PATS QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED

As we approach the free-agent period, I’m often asked my opinion on the Patriots and their key positions.

Here are my thoughts on:

Wes Welker — Definitely will be back with a deal that pleases him and the team.

Brandon Lloyd — No chance we see him again.

Aqib Talib — Ditto ... but for sure the Pats will ring the bell on a couple big-name DBs that will make you forget the minuscule performance Talib actually had here.

Sebastian Vollmer — Gone, figuring he’ll be looking for top dollar, while the Pats have plenty of insurance.

I see this as a block-buster free-agent session for the Pats, who will likely turn heads with the money they spend.

SHOUT OUT

I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the hard work, especially this weekend, of John Vitulli. This is playoff weekend for the Merrimack Valley Catholic Basketball League, which Vitulli has kept alive and nurtured to benefit the fine folks at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Lawrence. The league allows an option to play for so many youngsters in the Merrimack Valley. Its roots date at least back into the 1970s. Vitulli has fought hard to keep it alive. And John, the kids out there definitely appreciate it. Great job.

Tweet with Longo

With North Andover playing the early doubleheader, and Central Catholic playing the late twinbill, it will be a long day for me at the Tsongas Arena. Love to “Tweet chat” and talk local sports with any fans all day Saturday afternoon into the night. If you care to talk, follow and/or contact me via Twitter. I can be followed @MVCreature. So follow me, and tomorrow we’ll talk about the huge day in area sports at Tsongas Arena.

agateText bold to dash: