FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz graciously stayed on the field after taking batting practice on Thursday to pose for photos and sign autographs for the players from Northeastern.
One of the Huskies who approached him was lefthander James Mulry, a 20-year-old sophomore from West Roxbury who played at Boston Latin.
They met again in the third inning when Mulry was on the mound and Ortiz came to the plate. Mulry got ahead of the World Series Most Valuable Player and struck him out swinging at a slider off the plate.
Ortiz walked back to the dugout smiling as the crowd of 7,789 at JetBlue Park cheered Mulry’s fortitude.
“I was trying to see if I can get a strike to hit or whatever, but he ended up throwing me a nasty breaking ball, Ortiz said. “He can party tonight.”
Mulry struck out Dustin Pedroia with a fastball before he got Ortiz. He nearly whiffed Mike Napoli looking at a two-strike curveball to end the inning but umpire Steve Ward called the pitch outside.
“That was a lot of fun,” Mulry said. “Usually my curveball is a better pitch, especially with a lefty. But the slider worked. I’ll never forget that inning. ... It’s unreal. I can’t compare anything to facing these guys. This is going to help my confidence a lot. I didn’t get to pitch against the Sox last season but I was excited I would get the chance when they told me a few days ago.”
Said Ortiz: “He can have a drink tonight and say, ‘I struck out Papi.’ ”
See Friday's Globe for more from Ortiz and how this spring training is so much more enjoyable for him than last year.