Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

March 6, 2014

A start of a lifetime

Hunt holds his own against the Red Sox

(Continued)

It got more unbelievable as the first batters took their place: Grady Sizemore, Pedroia and Ortiz.

“I got Grady to fly to left,” Hunt said. “Then Pedroia, the count went to 3-and-2, and I threw a fastball. He hit it so hard up the middle that I didn’t see it until it was in center field. And then Ortiz, the count got to 3-and-2 and I threw him a change-up, which was a little low for ball four.”

Hunt got the next two hitters — Mike Napoli (a pop-up to the catcher) and Gomes (fly out to left) — to end the first inning.

His second inning was very similar. He got Xander Bogaerts and Will Middlebrooks to hit deep fly balls before catcher Ryan Lavarnway doubled off the wall in left and Jackie Bradley Jr. walked.

Hunt ended his appearance inducing Sizemore to hit a line out to left field.

His stat line was impressive: 2 innings pitched, 2 hits, 2 walks, no runs.

“I learned going against those guys you’ve got to have all your pitches working,” said Hunt, whose fastball has hit 92 mph this winter. “A 90-mile-an-hour fastball isn’t enough. You have change-up, maybe a slider, and you have to have command of all your pitches.

“The thing I noticed was every guy worked the count,” Hunt said. “It seemed like every batter had a 3-and-2 count. I was throwing change-up on 3-and-1 and 3-and-2, because they’ll crush a fastball.”

The score was 0-0 when Hunt left the game after two innings. The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead after five innings before Northeastern came back with two runs in the top of the sixth inning for a 2-1 advantage.

But the Red Sox bats exploded for four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to eventually take the win, 5-2.

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