Boyce is Babson’s
first Gold Glove pick
Trevor Boyce played center field with reckless abandon at Babson College, crashing into outfield fences at full speed to make catches and instinctively cutting off balls hit into the gap.
And he did it to perfection.
Boyce, who never made an error in 101 career games — including 36 this season — is the first Babson player named to the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings NCAA Division 3 Gold Glove team.
A graduate of Catholic Memorial School from Canton, Boyce also batted .372 in his final college season and was a first-team pick in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference.
“For him to be recognized as one of nine players among all of Division 3 is an incredible feat,’’ said Babson head coach Matt Noone, who will present Boyce with his award at a home game next season. “I never saw him get a late jump on the ball. He was ready on every pitch.’’
Boyce, who led the conference with 20 stolen bases, one shy of the school record, said he was not aware of his errorless streak until he looked at statistics prepared for the NEWMAC tournament.
“I was pretty ecstatic when coach [Noone] left me a voice mail about the Gold Glove,” said Boyce, a career .346 hitter for the Beavers, who were 22-18 overall this spring and 11-7 in the NEWMAC. “It’s special for me and for our program and perhaps I got a little lucky with the scorebook along the way. It all starts at practice, having that mentality to never let a ball drop and feeling that if it’s in the air, it should be caught.’’
Boyce was scratched from the lineup for four games after a season-opening win against Worcester Polytechnic Institute in which he rapped out four hits, but also broke a bone in his wrist while making a sensational catch.
“The wall won that battle,’’ said Boyce, who is playing this summer for TJO Sports in the Boston Park League. “It was depressing at first, but the pain subsided and then I had the mind-set that I would do whatever it took to help the team.’’
On April 24, when host Babson defeated 13th-ranked Southern Maine, 7-6, Boyce made a clutch play in the ninth, throwing out a runner at second base for the second out.
“I hit a lot of fungoes to Trevor over four years and he was also my student,’’ said veteran Babson assistant coach Norm Govoni, who teaches marketing courses, “and on the field and in my classroom he was the epitome of the student-athlete. His teammates looked up to him because he worked hard every day to improve and was passionate while doing it. He was always thinking ahead. Every practice was like a game to him.’’
Boyce, who also played for the Canton Legion team, was encouraged to complete in the Boston Park League by his coach at Catholic Memorial, Hal Carey, the former Harvard star who played in the Park League until he was in his 30s.
Carey lined him up with his former Park League team, the Stockyard Club (now TJO Sports), after his senior high school season. Boyce, who played three seasons with Stockyard, has a career .335 batting average in the league.
“He’s a team guy and a role model for our younger players,’’ said TJO Sports manager and Mansfield resident Bob Johnson .
Johnson’s nephew, former Walpole High and Curry College standout Tim Sweeney, is Boyce’s summer teammate.
“He’s a great outfielder, but he also has super quick hands at the plate and hits the ball hard,’’ Johnson said.
His first couple of weeks at Babson were hectic.
Boyce recalled traveling from freshman orientation to playoff games with Stockyard in the Park League finals. He played in only six games his freshman season at the Wellesley school.
He saw more playing time as a sophomore when he hit .282 and then caught fire his junior campaign when he soared to .381.
“I didn’t start out that well my junior season. I was something like 0-for-20 and was being rotated but then I got more aggressive at the plate and never looked back,’’ said Boyce, who will begin working this fall with a financial company in Boston.
Boyce lauded his coaches for his development as a player.
“Hal Carey put his trust in me,” he said. “Matt Noone made us take pride in being the hardest-working team around, and Norm Govoni showed me how to approach the game the right way. To me baseball isn’t just a game. It’s also the opportunity to spend a few hours with your teammates and best friends and I hope to play as long as I can.’’
Boyce was joined on the D-3 squad by Endicott College senior first baseman Brett Holmgren of Middleborough, who had a .996 fielding percentage with just two errors in 478 chances and is also his school’s first national Gold Glove player. The former Coyle-Cassidy High star hit .354 for the Gulls, who won a school-record 35 games and captured the Commonwealth Coast Conference title.
Notable on campus
Westwood High School graduate Matt Sebet was honored as Salem State University Male Student-Athlete of the Year. A dean’s list student who captained the golf team for three years, he was named twice to the New England Intercollegiate Golf Association All Tournament Team. He played on three Massachusetts State Collegiate Conference championship teams. . . . Bridgewater’s Caitlin Fahey (Coyle-Cassidy), a recent graduate of Bentley University, was selected to the Capital One NCAA Division 2 Academic All-District 1 track and cross-country team. Fahey’s outstanding senior season included trips to the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor championships and Northeast-10 titles in the 1,000 meters indoors and 800 and 1,500 outdoors.