By Mark Jaffee, Republican-American
Options. As Post University graduating senior Tyler Boisvert looks at his immediate future, he sees quite a few possibilities.
The former Woodland High standout pitcher and relief specialist with the Eagles recently completed his degree in criminal justice and is considering working in law enforcement.
But the 21-year-old received an unexpected reprieve on his college baseball career when the NCAA granted another year of eligibility for seniors after their spring seasons were shutdown because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
For Boisvert to continue his baseball career, he has three academic options — to complete a 12-credit graduate certificate offered by the university, earn another bachelor’s degree or begin a master’s degree in the fall.
Boisvert said that he’s leaning toward the third option and would likely pursue a business program with a desire to open up his own indoor sports facility someday.
“It’s a big decision,” said Boisvert, who grew up in Prospect and now lives in Waterbury. “I was ready to be done with school and had my future mapped out, but this gives me another option and to be able get another degree and further my education can only help me down the line. This year was my best year academically I’ve had in college. I wanted to finish strong.”
As for continuing his baseball career, that’s a no-brainer.
“We have had such great team chemistry, and were so strong in all aspects of the game and I would love to be back with them,” Boisvert said. “To say I would miss it, that’s not even a question.”
At Woodland, Boisvert was a starting pitcher and shortstop. Through four seasons at Post, Boisvert was exclusively used as a relief pitcher, compiling seven wins and two saves over 123 innings. He’d like to remain in that role in 2021.
“We’re excited for Tyler to be back with us next season,” Post first-year coach Ray Skjold said. “When we have a lead, I’m a big believer in going with a better pitcher who can hold and preserve a lead and Tyler was our go-to-guy in those situations.”
There was no better example than when Boisvert entered a game with two outs in the third inning against Pace University on Feb. 22.
Boisvert induced a groundball out to third base to get out of the inning and then tossed another five innings, allowing one hit and a fifth-inning run in picking up the win. Boisvert entered the game with a 5-4 lead and was lifted after the eighth inning. Post won, 11-6.
“Our starter had a high pitch count, so I made the move with Tyler in the third inning,” said Skjold. “I knew our offense was good and had the confidence that Tyler could do the job. He proved me right. He was fantastic and his stuff was electric that day.”
Boisvert said his previous best outing came when he tossed four innings of relief, striking out a career-high nine batters in a win against Chestnut Hill at Municipal Stadium as a junior in 2019.
Handling that middle relief role is something that Boisvert thrives on.
“Against Pace, Coach Skjold gave me a look in the dugout and asked me to start getting loose, and I soon started throwing in the bullpen,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed being in big, pressured situations and I’ve succeeded in most of the attempts. I guess it’s the adrenaline is pumping. You have to trust your teammates and your defense. My coach just told me to keep the ball down and to keep us in the game. That’s what I tried to do. I guess it worked out pretty good.”
When the Eagles scored three runs each in the top of the fourth and fifth innings, Boisvert was determined to win the game.
“That was huge getting that run support,” said Boisvert. “It’s a great feeling to know your team is behind you. There’s no pressure on you. You just have to throw strikes.”
Not only was Boisvert throwing well at the time of the shutdown, the Eagles were on a solid streak, winning four of five games to improve to 8-5 after dropping a season-opening three-game series at the University of Tampa, the defending Division II national champion.
Then came the unfortunate news of the canceled season just prior to a game against New York Tech on March 13 in Palm Beach, Fla.
“We had just finished our stretching before the game and coach called us over into a circle and told us that our season was done,” recalled Boisvert. “We reminisced for a while in the dugout before we went back onto the bus and back to the hotel. We went home the next day. I thought my college career was done. I feel very lucky to be able to able to have a choice now to finish what I had started.”