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Augliera helps Salem claim Class-A title
Former BU ace records 10 wins in first season with Red Sox High-A team
September 13, 2013Tweet
Contact: John Hartrick (email@example.com)
VESTAL, N.Y. - Former Binghamton baseball ace Mike Augliera just completed a historic season for the Salem Red Sox, playing a key role in the team’s run to a Mills Cup Championship in the Class-A Advanced Carolina League.
Augliera, a fifth-round draft pick by Boston in 2012, won 10 games in his first season with Salem, including a big postseason win in Game 2 of the championship series against Potomac on September 8. Continuing his penchant for stifling opposition in postseason play (in six postseason games during his BU career, Augliera went 3-1 with a 1.87 ERA), Augliera pitched a gem to beat Potomac. He went 6 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out a season-high seven. Over his final two starts down the stretch, Augliera fired 11 2/3 scoreless innings.
Salem closed the 2013 season with an incredible 11 consecutive victories and won the title with a 6-4 victory over Potomac on Tuesday night to sweep the final series. It was the first time in five seasons as a Boston Red Sox affiliate that Salem celebrated a Carolina League Championship. The Red Sox boomeranged from a 51-56 record on July 30 to a 81-64 mark at the season’s end. With a team ERA of 1.34 in five postseason games, the Salem Sox became the first Carolina League team in seven years to roll through the playoffs without losing a single contest.
In Game 2 of the final series, Augliera struck out a career-high-matching seven in Salem’s 4-0 win. He struck out the side in the sixth inning, achieving that feat for the first time all season.
Binghamton’s highest-ever draft pick (181st overall in 2012 MLB Draft), Augliera graduated as the school’s career leader in wins (23), innings pitched (298.1), starts (50) and complete games (13). He led the entire nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2012 (83 Ks vs. 7 BBs) and finished his four-year career with 253 strikeouts — second all-time.
In his senior season, Augliera won six games, led the America East in strikeouts (83) and ranked among the nation’s top-10 in four categories: walks allowed per game (third at 0.76), complete games (4th with 7) and WHIP — walks plus hits per inning pitched (seventh at 0.92).
Augliera began his professional career with Lowell in the New York-Penn League (4.42 ERA in 15 appearances in 2012) before earning the promotion to High-A Salem this spring.
On the heels of Salem’s 2013 championship, Augliera answered some questions about the season, his performance and his promising future with the Boston organization.
Q. What was that experience like, ending the season with the big win streak and winning a professional title?
A. It was an amazing experience ... something I am very proud of to be a part of. The roll we went on at the end of the season was incredible and winning the Carolina League championship was an incredible experience.
Q. You had a strong season - your first at the Advanced-A level ... nine wins in the regular season and then a key win in the championship series. How would you access your season?
A. Overall, I think the season was a success. I had my ups and downs, but for the most part I was pretty consistent all season. I’m pretty happy with how I finished the season, but of course I have a lot to work on headed into the offseason. It was a very good first full season for me.
Q. It was a long season, beginning in April and just finishing in September. How hard was it physically and mentally to go for nearly six months?
A. It got pretty hard toward the end of the season. I was fortunate enough to be fairly healthy all season, but you start to wear down toward the end of the year. It was a long year and it’s just as hard to stay sharp mentally as it is physically. But when the playoffs came, all of that was forgotten. As tough as it was, it was very worth the mental and physical strain.
Q. Take us through the next few months ... what does the organization have planned for you and what are you looking forward to doing in the off-season?
A. Having thrown so many innings this season, I won’t have to go to instructional league again. I’ll see what comes up, but for now I look forward to relaxing for a couple of weeks. After that I’ll start working out and training for the next season.
Q. What areas of your pitching will you focus on and what have you been told lies ahead for you for 2014?
A. Heading into next spring training, I’ll try to improve on all areas of pitching but specifically being more consistent with my off-speed pitches. They have both been good for me at times this year, but to succeed at higher levels, I’ll need them to be good a lot more consistently. As far as for next season, I haven’t been told very much about what lies ahead. There’s too much that can happen to know right now what the plan is for me.