Welcome to another edition of Thursday Thoughts, and while I wanted to start this week off on something positive the Worcester Red Sox have gone and done something so silly that there is no way I can sit back and say nothing.
I get that with the new Polar Park there’s going to be a lot of “firsts” made note of, and I’m all for that. The team and city should absolutely celebrate things like the first hit, extra-base hit, home run, stolen base, strikeout, win, et cetera. With the number of things that go on in a usual baseball game you could compile a massively long list of “firsts”.
But celebrating the first home run hit in an alternate site simulated game is really setting the bar low to the point of being silly.
It all boils down to the WooSox celebrating a ball hit out of the park in an inter-squad scrimmage. You think that’s an achievement worth celebrating? A quick look at the team’s Twitter account has no mention of who had the first hit in one of those all-important alternate site simulated games, or the first strikeout, or the first anything else.
Still think it’s important? Then who scored the first goal at then named Centrum in the Worcester IceCats first team inter-squad game? Or the first Mass Marauders scrimmage touchdown? Even if you’re one of those people who think stat keeping is really just a baseball thing, then who hit the first exhibition home run for the Tornadoes? Or the Bravehearts?
Yes, teams celebrate some silly things. As good friend Rich Lundin points out, at least when the Bruins had “Adams Division Champions” banners hanging from the Boston Garden, that was for games that were actual games. Celebrating things that happen in practice is what franchises begging for attention do.
And as the media landscape around Worcester shows, the WooSox don’t need to do that.
Local Collegiate Results
Thursday in Men’s soccer sophomore midfielder Bergin Kranz scored with just 18 seconds left in regulation to break a 1-1 tie and lift the Crusaders to a 2-1 victory over Boston University at Linda Johnson Smith Stadium on the Holy Cross campus. Senior midfielder Max Krause had the other goal for the Crusaders. In the 84th minute, senior goalkeeper Nick Conklu made a save on a penalty kick attempt by Ronaldo Marshall to keep the game tied. Conklu finished the game with two saves for Holy Cross. The Crusaders improve to 2-1 overall and 2-1 in the Patriot League with the win.
In Women’s volleyball Friday, Holy Cross fell to Army 3-2 in the Patriot League Semifinals at Cotterell Court on the campus of Colgate University. The Crusaders entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed, while Army was the No. 3 seed. This was the Crusaders’ first playoff game since the Patriot League moved to have a four-team field in 1996. Senior Katie Kerins made history in the match, becoming the first Holy Cross player to reach the 800 kills and 200 blocks threshold. Kerins ended her night with 11 kills and eight blocks. Senior Rachel Harding posted a double-double with 10 kills and 17 digs, while senior Kathleen Philo had a double-double of her own with 12 assists and 19 digs. Senior Clare Honan finished with nine kills and six blocks. Senior Sophie VanSeveren ended the night with 23 digs.
Saturday in Women’s lacrosse Blazers sophomore Anna-Elise Pikul scored a hat trick for Elms, leading their offense to an 8-7 win over the Becker Hawks in the New England Collegiate Conference opener for both teams at Leary Field in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Junior Kylian Kelly (Shrewsbury High) had a hat trick for the Hawks in a losing effort. Clare Conway finished the game with two goals and three assists, giving her 104 career points for Becker, and making her the 10th player in program history to collect 100 points over a career. Julia Ravenelle added two goals and two assists. Freshman Chloe Isola made five saves for the Hawks.
In softball action on Monday, Assumption University defeated the Ravens of Franklin Pierce University in a conference doubleheader. Junior pitcher, Erin Barry held the visitors to just one hit over the first seven innings of the day and freshman Corin Mahan posted a two-run homer in game two to lift the Hounds to victory. Game one was 2-1. Assumption got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning when freshman Summer Sheerin earned an RBI with a double to left field that scored Mahan. After the Ravens manufactured a run in the top of the third the Greyhounds added another run in the bottom of the third to take the 2-1 lead. Senior Mckenzie Richards singled to left field and her classmate, Alyssa Bialakis sent her home with an RBI single through the right side. Game two was also 2-1, with Mahan’s two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth being the difference. Senior Mia Nowicki had a complete game for Assumption and improves to 2-1 this season.
Boston Teams This Week
RED SOX @ Baltimore, 3pm
BRUINS @ Washington, 7pm
Minnesota @ CELTICS, 7:30pm
BRUINS @ Philadelphia, 2pm
REVOLUTION @ Los Angeles FC, 3pm (ex)
RED SOX @ Baltimore, 7pm
RED SOX @ Baltimore, 1pm
CELTICS @ Denver, 3pm
Washington @ BRUINS, 7pm
RED SOX @ Minnesota, 2pm
RED SOX @ Minnesota, 2pm
Buffalo @ BRUINS, 7pm
CELTICS @ Portland, 10pm
RED SOX @ Minnesota, 2pm
Worcester Hockey Alumni Highlights
Friday Lane Scheidl two goals (no video of second goal)
Friday Tomas Hertl goal
Saturday Willie Raskob goal
Saturday Evan Buitenhuis save
Saturday Ben Thomsom goal
Sunday Lane Scheidl goal
Sunday Thomas Greiss save
Sunday Troy Grosenick save
Tuesday Thomas Greiss multiple saves
Is 45 the new 2,632?
When people talk about unbreakable sports streaks, several come to mind. Joe DiMaggio got a hit in 56 consecutive games. Wayne Gretzky had at least one point for 51 straight games. Even more shocking is that he owns the second-best record in that category with 30 straight games with a point. Orel Hershiser’s 59 innings in a row without allowing a single run is a good one too.
Wilt Chamberlain is in a league all by himself for streaks, starting with his 126 games in a row where he scored 20 or more points. He had 65 games in a row with 30 or more, 14 games with 40 or more, and seven in a row with 50-plus. And speaking of basketball, the UConn women winning 90 in a row is a fairly impressive feat.
Cal Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games is usually considered the one completely unbreakable streak, heightened by the fact that Lou Gehrig is the only other player with more than 2000 in a row (2,130), only seven had more than 1,000 in a row, and no active player is even close to 500. While not as impressive a number A.C. Green playing in 1,192 straight NBA games isn’t bad considering he did that with four different teams. Doug Jarvis playing 964 straight NHL is probably close to unbreakable too. But even considering Ripken’s streak there might be one that’s even more untouchable:
Stanford University has won at least one NCAA team championship for 45 consecutive years.
Since 1977 Stanford has not gone a single calendar year without one of its teams winning an NCAA title. Even more impressive, while the NCAA doesn’t award a championship for indoor tennis the Intercollegiate Tennis Association does, and you can tack two more years on to the total if you wanted to with Men’s championships in 1975 and 1976. If you did that you could go all the way back to 1973 with a team title for Stanford.
That’s a very impressive run for the Cardinal, one that was almost ended by COVID and the UConn Women’s basketball team. But Arizona took care of the Huskies, and the Stanford Women took care of the rest.
Stuff you may have missed from 210Sports this week
Former central Massachusetts college hockey players in the pros (210)
The Shenanigans of April Fool’s and Good Friday (Podcast)
Not so big finish
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