A Dream Scenario
By Justin Pelletier
Growing up in Billerica, Kyle Murphy liked to put himself into hypothetical, high-pressure situations when he’d play baseball with his friends -- bottom of the ninth inning, runners in scoring position, two outs, and the game hinged on him, that sort of thing.
And he always dreamed he’d be playing for his hometown Boston Red Sox.
Today, he’ll take the field with them.
Murphy, now a redshirt junior hurler for Northeastern University, is set to be on the mound at 1 p.m. facing the defending World Series champs when the Huskies play the Sox in the opening game of the 2019 preseason.
“It’s like a dream come true,” Murphy said when reached by phone at City of Palms Park in Fort Meyers, Fla., on Thursday. “Growing up, you always want to be on the Sox, you know, and to be able to face them is pretty amazing.
“Growing up just 20 minutes north of the city, we followed the Red Sox pretty closely, and we still do. It’s unreal to have a chance to pitch against them,” he told the Herald.
Murphy, 21, was an all-star pitcher for Billerica Memorial High School. In 2015, he batted .529 with eight doubles, three triples, five home runs and 19 RBI. He also posted a 2.37 ERA with 61 strikeouts as a pitcher. He was the Lowell Sun’s Player of the Year and a Boston Herald All-Scholastic.
This will be his third season playing for Northeastern after sitting out his first year as a redshirt. The Huskies, who qualified for the NCAA Division I Baseball Championships last year and finished 36-21 on the season, are primed for another solid season.
“We have a lot of guys back from that team,” the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Murphy said, “we’re looking forward to the season.”
Northeastern is normally among the college teams the Sox play first to open preseason play. It gives the college players a chance to mingle with the best ballplayers in the city, and the Red Sox a chance to get their legs underneath them before facing big league competition.
In 2018, Murphy was with the Northeastern squad when they faced the Sox, but didn’t get a chance to play.
“We got to hang out with the team a bit during batting practice,” Murphy said. “We got to talk to them a little bit about baseball. It was a great experience.”
Great, Murphy said, but not as great as being able to play in the game itself.
“It fell on an off-day last year for me, because we had a series against Missouri the next three days,” Murphy said. “I’m excited to be able pitch this year.”