BRISTOL — Tyler Boisvert was on vacation with some friends when he got the call from his college coach Ray Ricker that the Bristol Blues wanted to offer him an opportunity to finish out the season in the Future Collegiate Baseball League.
Bristol Blues team manger Ronnie Palmer is quite familiar with Boisvert, a right-hander who pitched for Woodland in high school. Palmer is athletic director at Post University, where Boisvert is playing collegiate ball.
The Blues had a six-man rotation to start the season in May, but by the first week of July the team only had two left. Due to an inning limit on most pitchers, some college coaches requested that their pitchers be shut down for the season.
“Ideally you would like to keep the staff together all summer,” Palmer said. “But with pitch counts and things like that college coaches want to shut down some of their pitchers, and that’s understandable.”
That created an opportunity for Boisvert to join the staff smack dab in the middle of a pennant race.
Playing in front of some pretty large crowds at historic Muzzy Field in the middle of a pennant race was exhilarating and intimidating at times for Boisvert.
“It was pretty cool to get an opportunity like this, I was really excited about pitching here,” Bosivert said. “The atmosphere was a little crazy. My first day here I was signing autographs for kids and the crowd was really behind you. The fans are really electric, cheering you on, and that really boosts your confidence level.”
Boisvert got off to a rough start. In his first relief appearance against Worcester July 5, he allowed four runs. Two days later he surrendered three runs against the North Shore Navigators.
“Tyler stepped in and was the pitcher that we knew he would be,” Palmer said. “He got banged around the first two times out, but once he settled in he put together some solid outings down the stretch.”
Boisvert sat idle for a few weeks during the All-Star break and got his first start on July 24. It was like night and day. Boisvert pitched six innings, allowing two hits and no runs and striking out six against the Nashua Silver Knights to earn his first win.
“The skill level is a lot better here,” Boisvert said. “Every team has a real stacked lineup. It took a few turns before I finally settled in. You need to really stay focused and compete to the best of your ability.”
Boisvert got an opportunity to show what he can do in the playoffs, as well.
The Blues came on strong at the season’s end and secured the No. 2 seed in the playoffs.
Bristol dropped the opening game of the best-of-three semifinal series with the Navigators. With the season on the line in game two, the Blues fell behind 6-0 by the second inning.
Bosivert came out of the bullpen, allowing three hits and one run over the next five innings as the Blues rallied to win the game 12-7.
“Before the game my manager told me I probably wouldn’t pitch that night,” Boisvert said. “So I was getting ready to do my bullpen session with the thought of getting a start in the championship series. Next thing I know a player ran down to the bullpen and said, ‘Boisvert get hot,’ and it was, ‘Here we go.’ It was amazing, one of the greatest games I’ve been a part of.”
The Blues won game three to reach the FCBL championship series for the first time since 2015.
Palmer had so much confidence in Boisvert he slated the righty to start the final game three of the championship series against Worcester. Boisvert didn’t get the chance to start as Worcester won the first two games of the series to win the championship.