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He’s a starting pitcher for one of Major League Baseball’s most storied franchises, but Nick Pivetta’s roots in the game first sprouted at Saanich’s Layritz Park.
“I can remember coming here, him going into the dugout and the other team coming over and going ‘who’s pitching tonight’ and they’d go ‘Pivetta’ and they’d all go ‘oh no not Pivetta,'” said Carolyn Gregg, Pivetta’s mother.
Gregg watched her son go from Layritz Little League to baseball’s biggest stage, and now, the 28-year-old is having a career year.
“It’s just, it kind of all clicked right now and it’s going in the right direction,” said Pivetta via Zoom from Fenway Park in Boston.
But it’s been far from smooth sailing.
In his first few seasons in Philadelphia, Pivetta had many ups and downs — with highs that included pitching a complete game, and lows like being sent down to the minor league on multiple occasions.
“It’s hard,” said Gregg. “We had a lot of heart-to-heart conversations over the phone.”
Pivetta, however, stayed positive and focused on improving his game.
“There’s definitely always ways of just working through it, through work ethic and just enjoying it and having fun at the same time and not trying to take it too seriously,” said Pivetta, who spent much of the pandemic training in Florida.
The former Victoria Eagle was traded to Boston last season, marking his road to redemption with the Red Sox.
It’s a move that appears to have worked out as Pivetta, who went from learning to love the game at Layritz Park, appears to have found his footing at one of the most famous stadiums in the world — Fenway Park.
The right-hander is 6-0 with a 3.86 ERA this season with the Boston Red Sox, his best numbers as a pro.
“I think just with the consistency of everything, it’s built my confidence more and allowed me to kind of see things at a different perspective and allowed me to make adjustments that I need to,” said the former Victoria HarbourCat.
Pivetta’s Red Sox’s are also contenders in the American League
“He’s having fun again, he’s enjoying ball again, he’s enjoying being a player,” said Gregg, who watches all of Pivetta’s games online.
Pivetta has learned a lot in the cutthroat and often humbling world of pro sports and has some advice for the younger generation.
“Just enjoy the moment,” said the Lambrick Secondary School grad. “Allow things to happen naturally instead of trying to force things — if you meet things with force you’re only gonna get forced back. If you work hard enough and you’re talented enough, there’s going to be ways to move forward in your sport.”