College Season Underway – Alums Populate Rosters

Galland, Holzwasser, Walsh at Red Sox Feb. 22

As those who follow know, the official start to the Division I college baseball season began this past weekend.  And two of the top local/regional D-I schools, Boston College and Northeastern University came away with 2-1 road records to start the 2018 campaign.  Ten former Ruffnecks populate the rosters of these two schools alone.  Add not-so-local University of Connecticut to the 2-1 club, and you have a pretty good weekend for New England.   And yes, the Ruffnecks are represented at UConn as well.  Other New England Division I colleges begin their seasons a little later than President’s Day Weekend, but college baseball is under way!  Division II schools, such as Bentley University, have also begun their seasons with trips down south.  Numerous Division III colleges begin in March with their own spring trips, and games scheduled at the NEBC, where the Ruffnecks make their home.  Indeed, almost 50 former Ruffnecks are currently playing on collegiate baseball rosters throughout the country… many of them right in New England.

Matt Wesoloski - UTampa

It is not possible to name all the contributors to their respective college programs.  But there are standout performances on a weekly basis that contribute to their college team’s success.  Freshman Chris Galland got his first college hit for Boston College against Santa Clara. For now, he enjoys a 1.000 batting average, a feat that can only happen, by definition, with success on one’s first chance!  Sophomore Scott Holzwasser leads Northeastern University’s lineup after a monster weekend in which he had 7 hits including a double, HR, and 5 RBI.  Another long-time Ruffneck, Matt Wesoloski, pitches for the University of Tampa.  He threw a 1-2-3 inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in spring training exhibition on Feb. 22.  Galland, Holzwasser, Joe Walsh, Henry Ennen, and Owen Batchleder all played against the Boston Red Sox the same day.  Other former Ruffnecks populate the rosters of schools such as Wake Forest, Georgetown, University of Richmond, and IVY League schools such as Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Columbia.  The list of strong academic Division III schools includes Amherst, Bates, Colby, Trinity, Tufts, and several others.  The point is… there is a place in college for most Ruffnecks to play, as long as the passion, purpose, and academic focus remain bound together in the player’s heart and soul.

We begin our own season with the 13U and 14U Ruffnecks in late March.  High school players are gettng ready for school seasons and then the summer with Ruffnecks.  Those journeys are still at various distances from the college game.  And while it is satisfying to acknowledge the achievements of former ‘Necks in the college ranks, it is important to remember that they were once in the very same place as Ruffnecks players are today.