By John Orrell, Contributing Writer
Worcester – 2017 to date hasn’t been quite the way things were meant to go for Northborough right handed pitcher Matt Geoffrion, at least not in his freshman year at the University of Maine. Geoffrion, a standout hurler for Algonquin Regional High School, put together outstanding numbers and showed great poise on the mound in his high school days earning himself a much-coveted berth on the Black Bears roster.
But then the unforeseen occurred, a flare up of a previously sustained elbow injury that sidelined him for the entire season. Accepting his status as a red shirt freshman was never in the cards but coaches at UMaine opted to take the cautious route so as not to risk any kind of permanent damage.
But now he is back and making a name for himself as a setup reliever for the Worcester Bravehearts. The Bravehearts are one of 10 teams from various parts of New England that comprise the Future Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL). The team plays 28 home games at Hanover Insurance Park and 28 away games and consistently draws between two and three thousand fans on any given night.
“Up in Maine, they think very highly of him and believe that he could be a big part of their future,” said Braveheart manager J.P. Pyne. “As he rehabs from injury and gets in shape, to work with him this summer is something I’m really excited about. We’ve been very careful with him early on with his innings limit and pitch count.
“He’s a guy with a big arm and has a pro-type fastball. His secondary pitches are developing. We like his breaking ball and feel like he can be a back end bullpen guy for us. As he continues to build his arm strength after injury, he’ll have the opportunity to be an impact pitcher up in Maine.”
Geoffrion’s introduction to Futures League baseball began with a shaky debut where he allowed six runs in just two-thirds of an inning but since that time the numbers have come down and with each appearance he becomes more comfortable with the demands and rigors of baseball at the higher level.
“It was a big transition. It’s a faster pace,” Geoffrion acknowledged. “They expect a lot out of you. Coming from Maine, this is a huge transition. You wouldn’t get even close to these size crowds. The hardest part for me is staying consistent with all my pitches. If something goes off, I’ll be off.”
Becoming a Braveheart was a dream come true and the transformation from college baseball to Futures League with a packed house night after night was a giant step for Geoffrion. But being local and having been to several games in the past as a spectator has also eased things some, he admits.
Off the field, the 6’4” Geoffrion is, by all accounts, a quiet and reserved person but when the mood is right he opens up and is extremely likeable amongst players and coaches. Mostly he lets his quality work on the mound do the talking for him.
“Matt’s a very quiet guy but you can tell that he cares very much for what he does on the field and about his teammates,” said Pyne. “He’s become a very good teammate. Everything he’s been asked to do, he’s done and he goes about his work very professionally. He’s into the game even when he’s not in the game and that’s all we ask our guys to do.”
Geoffrion will continue to play a role for his Braveheart team this summer but with an eye on a rebounding 2018 season in Maine. He is highly regarded as a top talent there and is counted on in a big way, according to the Black Bears coaching staff.
“Matt’s a real hard worker for us and is really committed to the program,” said University of Maine head coach Nick Derba. “He has a gifted arm and can flat out pitch. He competes well and is a great all-around guy. He’s kind of quiet but intense and everybody likes him. I expect he’ll do very well next year and look forward to having him be a key player for us.”