Northwood’s Austin Brice logs his first MLB start for Red Sox

BY CHAPEL FOWLER, News + Record Staff
Posted 8/5/20

After 110 appearances in relief over five seasons, Northwood alum Austin Brice checked a major box off his baseball resume Sunday. And it came on a national stage.

Brice logged his first career …

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Northwood’s Austin Brice logs his first MLB start for Red Sox

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Posted

After 110 appearances in relief over five seasons, Northwood alum Austin Brice checked a major box off his baseball resume Sunday. And it came on a national stage.

Brice logged his first career start for the Boston Red Sox in a 7 p.m. game broadcast on ESPN.

In a 5-1 loss to the New York Yankees, Boston’s longtime rival, he pitched a scoreless first inning, striking out three batters and walking two on 29 pitches. It was a long time coming for the former Charger.

Brice, drafted as an 18-year-old by then-Florida Marlins in the ninth round of the 2010 MLB Draft, spent six years in the team’s farm system before debuting in 2016.

By virtue of his father’s frequent construction work, which moved the Brice frequently, that made him the first Hong Kong-born player to play in the MLB.

A 6-foot-4 righty, he spent his next four years working out of the bullpen for the Marlins and Cincinnati Reds. Last season, playing with Miami, Brice set career bests in appearances (36), innings pitched (44.2), strikeouts (46) and earned run average (3.43).

In January, Brice was traded to the Red Sox — and quickly caught on at spring training in Florida.

“I found my groove early this spring,” Brice told the News + Record in April. “We were less than two weeks away from packing our bags and heading to Boston when everything got shut down by the coronavirus outbreak.”

The delay had a silver lining: for the first time since his senior year at Northwood, Brice spent the spring at home with family in Chatham County. He and his wife Krystin have a 4-year-old son, Bear, and their daughter, Noa, was born in April.

After the MLB and its players’ union negotiated a restart date, Brice, 28, reported to a second training camp July 1 and began playing late last month. He’s appeared in five games for the Red Sox (3-8 as of Wednesday afternoon) and logged a 6.35 ERA across 5.2 innings.

And on Sunday, 10 years after he was drafted out of Northwood, he became an MLB starting pitcher.

Reporter Chapel Fowler can be reached at cfowler@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @chapelfowler.

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