BOSTON, Mass.—UMass Boston senior pitcher Matt Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) carried out his goal of becoming a professional baseball player on June 22, when he signed with the Ottawa Champions of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball (Can-Am League).
The Can-Am League is an independent, professional baseball league with six teams in Canada, New York and New Jersey. The league was initially created in 2005 and has seen several major changes over the past two decades. Thirteen Can-Am players have gone on to reach the major leagues, including former Boston Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow.
Tulley joins former UMass Boston All-American second baseman Ryan Walsh ('11) as recent Beacons to have played in the league. Walsh played in 59 games during the 2011 season for the now defunct Newark Bears.
Tulley who dazzled in his first and only season with the Beacons, signed with Ottawa on June 22.
He made his professional debut two days later in Pomona, New York, when the Champions took on host and league-leading Rockland Boulders. Tulley came out of the pen with his team trailing and allowed three hits and two runs, one earned, in two innings of work. He also struck out one batter.
After having to wait to get his passport and paperwork processed, Tulley rejoined the team last week. In his first professional start on Monday, he struggled against the Quebec Capitales, the league's most successful franchise. Playing in front of a heavily partisan Quebec crowd, Tulley took the loss after allowing seven earned runs in four innings of work.
Despite a rough outing on Monday, Capitals manager Hal Lanier has had nothing but good things to say about Tulley. In interviews with ottawchampions.com, Lanier has stated ""He is going to be fine in the Can-Am League. He pitched very well – he has a good breaking ball and a good slider."
After his most recent outing, Lanier said "I liked the way he threw. His location wasn't great and he hung a few pitches, but that's to be expected after so many days off."
Tulley was named a Third Team All-Region pick and the Most Valuable Pitcher in the New England Intercollegiate Baseball Association (NEIBA) Senior All-Star game this spring. He led all Beacons starting pitchers with his 8-2 record and 2.42 earned run average. In 67 innings of work, Tulley struck out 80 hitters and limited opposing batters to a .189 batting average.
He spent his first two collegiate seasons at Division 1 Virginia Tech, before playing at Division II powerhouse Rollins College for one season.