Clam Point native got the start in Huskies' spring training game vs. Red Sox
Having just rubbed shoulders with big leaguers at spring training, 19 year-old Dorchester resident Henry Ennen is poised to begin his college baseball career this season at Northeastern University.
The Clam Point native was a standout pitcher for BC High and credits his Dorchester community with laying the foundation of his baseball career.
Neither of his parents had much of a baseball connection, but Ennen discovered a passion for the game during his early days playing Savin Hill Little League, now a part of Dorchester Baseball.
“From the first time I played, I fell in love,” he said.
Ennen played with Savin Hill until age 12, at which point he joined a local travel team. He went on to play for BC High’s 7th/8th grade team and their freshman team before making the varsity squad as a sophomore.
After sitting out his junior season due to a knee injury, Ennen had a breakout senior year for the Eagles, posting a 7-1 record with 65 strikeouts and a 0.84 era, and leading his team to a top seed in the Super 8 tournament. He graduated young at age 17 and opted for a post-graduate year at Phillips Andover, where he continued to excel, attracting the attention of college coaches, including Northeastern skipper Mike Glavine.
A longtime assistant coach and recruiter, Glavine was promoted to the head coaching position four years ago. Northeastern has been on an upward trajectory since. Last year the Huskies won their first ever Colonial Athletic Association regular season title, an achievement that earned Glavine Coach of the Year honors.
Ennen is excited to join a squad with an already bright future.
“Ever since Coach Glavine took over the baseball program it’s been on the rise,” said Ennen. “The coaching staff has made me feel welcome here, and made me feel that I could make an impact right away.”
This instant impact came in the form of a baptism by fire, as Ennen got the call to start against the Red Sox during Northeastern’s annual spring training exhibition with the big league ball club.
For Ennen, it was a dream come true.
“It was awesome,” he said. “I’ve been a Red Sox fan my whole life, and I never would have expected that in a million years.”
Ennen faced what he called “the big guns”— the top of the Red Sox order in Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi, and Rafael Devers. He walked them.
“I think I tried so hard not to be nervous that it made me nervous,” laughs Ennen, who is able to look back fondly on the memory and views it as a learning experience.
“I’m actually happy that I didn’t have a great start, because I think I learned more about myself and what I need to do to be successful in terms of my mindset,” he explained. “[At Northeastern] I’m gonna be in some big spots, so that will prepare me going forward...Pitching’s all mental, it’s about not getting rattled. Failure just makes me want to be good that much more.”
Ennen will undoubtedly need to make some adjustments transitioning to the college level, including adapting to the speed of the game, conforming to a tighter strike zone, and working on his changeup to complement the two pitches he’s relied on thus far, his four-seam fastball and his curve.
“In college you need three pitches to be a bona fide starter,” he explained.
Ennen is looking forward to an upcoming series at Texas Tech as another chance to gain experience against big time opposition. Right now he’s slated to come out of the bullpen, but Ennen says he’s focused on being prepared to help the team win in any capacity.
“Wherever they need me I’m excited to contribute,” he said. “Whenever they call my name, I’ll be ready.”