Blue Sox has its ace poised to take mound
Drew Brzozowski is an accountant for the TXJ Cos. in Framingham. Away from the office, the Brandeis University graduate has posted some very impressive numbers on the mound.
Brzozowski (inset), who is scheduled to pitch in the season-opening game for the defending Intercity League champion Lexington Blue Sox on Friday night, is 18-7 with a 1.73 earned-run average in his five seasons with the highly successful amateur baseball team.
His postseason performances are even more eye-catching.
Brzozowski has the distinction of being the winning pitcher in the playoff championship-clinching games in 2009, 2011, and last year, when the righthander from Concord went 3-0 — including a pair of shutouts — and allowed just two runs in 21 playoff innings.
He took the mound in the fifth and deciding game against the host Andre Chiefs, went the route in a 7-2 victory, and was named playoff MVP for the second time.
It was Lexington’s sixth title in seven years and 10th overall. The team’s first game of this season is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Lexington High School.
“We had lost in the finals to Andre the previous year and we’ve had quite a rivalry with them,’’ said Brzozowski, who is 8-1 in 10 postseason starts. He has eight complete games, and recorded three shutouts with a 0.79 ERA.
“My approach is to make every pitch count and put us in a position to win. I’m pretty calm out there, I don’t really feel that much pressure and I know what my strengths are,’’ said the 26-year-old, who never steps on the foul line on his way to the mound and always throws the same five warm-up pitches.
“Fastball, fastball, fastball, slider, and changeup. I’ve had that routine for a long time,’’ said Brzozowski, who pitched and played third base and the outfield for Concord-Carlisle High School and was a four-year-starting pitcher at Brandeis University.
He played two summers with a few of his Brandeis teammates with the Intercity League’s Cassell Club, which took the Blue Sox to the limit in back-to-back playoff finals.
“We had them down, 2-0, both times in the best-of-five and they came back to win,’’ recalled Brzozowski, who joined the Blue Sox after the Somerville-based Cassell Club ceased operations in 2009.
Blue Sox owner and manager Rick DeAngelis said he admires Brzozowski’s ability to “put an error or bad pitch in the rearview mirror and just focus on the next pitch. He has a great demeanor and he deserves to pitch the opener.’’
DeAngelis, a two-time All-New England baseball player at Holy Cross (class of 1970) and a member of the Crusaders’ Athletics Hall of Fame, had his eye on Brzozowski when he was pitching for Brandeis.
“After the Cassell Club folded, Rick called me,’’ Brzozowski said.
“I always had great respect for his team and it’s been awesome playing for him and with this group of guys,’’ he said.
“Rick puts 110 percent into the team, he’s laid back and understands mistakes are part of the game, and at the end of the day we all have fun being around him.’’
DeAngelis, a lawyer who founded the Blue Sox in 1995, has a very productive one-two punch in Brzozowski and Southborough’s Matt Karis , who played at Gettysburg College and is a former Intercity League Pitcher of the Year.
The Blue Sox’ sizable Lexington High alumni contingent includes former Bentley University infielder Ross Curley, the league’s top hitter last season (.408), who ended the campaign with a 13-game hitting streak.
Here and there
Franklin Country Club’s Keith Smith and partner Dave Turgeon (Norton CC) won the Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball Championship on the fifth playoff hole last Thursday at Bayberry Hills in South Yarmouth. Smith sank a 15-foot birdie putt to end the championship match. . . Former Belmont High teammates Chris Stadler and Andrew Carey ended their college track careers as national champions. Stadler, a senior at Haverford College, won the 5,000-meter run, while Carey, a senior at Johns Hopkins University, captured the 800-meter title at last weekend’s NCAA Division 3 outdoor track & field championships at Ohio Wesleyan University. A recent recipient of a $7,500 NCAA postgraduate scholarship, Stadler posted a time of 14 minutes 11.28 seconds to set a Selby Stadium record and give him the eighth All-America certificate of his career. Carey, whose 1:49.67 in the 800-meter preliminaries is the fastest time this season in Division 3, ran a 1:50.62 in the finals to become the first national champion in an individual event in Johns Hopkins program history.