NC State, Boston College to face off in Fenway Park for ALS awareness

Two programs plan to play in Red Sox stadium to raise awareness for battles of former players Chris Combs, Pete Frates

Tom Miller—
Chris Combs and his family pose with NC State baseball coach Elliott Avent prior to a game at Doak Field at Dail Park. Combs played baseball under Avent during his senior season.

Throughout the battles of Chris Combs and Pete Frates against ALS, their respective schools have backed them every step of the way. On April 22, Boston College will host NC State at Fenway Park to further support the cause started by the two players.The game is only tentatively set for the April date, but The Boston Herald reports it will be part of an ALS Awareness Day. Proceeds from the game will benefit research for the disease, something Combs says Wolfpack coach Elliott Avent has worked hard to ensure over the past several months.”He’s been with us through it all and is trying to use baseball as an avenue to help our cause,” Combs said of Avent. “It’s going to be a special day at Fenway. The main goal is to raise money and awareness for this awful disease, and I think this will be the perfect way to do it for both me and Pete.”The Boston Red Sox hosting the two teams not just by chance. Fenway Park has hosted ALS awareness events for Frates in the past, including several during the “Ice Bucket Challenge” a few years ago. The disease has also hit home for the Red Sox, with NESN cameraman John Martin recently diagnosed.Combs said he and Avent have been working on plans for the Saturday game for months, with hopes to have the game played on ESPNU. Back in November, the entire men’s basketball coaching staff grew out beards with the sole purpose focused on raising awareness for Combs’ cause.While he only coached him for one season — Avent’s first and Combs’ last at NC State — Avent has made it very clear how much respect he has for Combs.”As a coach, you’re supposed to stay away from words like ‘favorites,’ but Chris was my favorite player,” Avent said. “I only got to coach him for one year, but he made my first season special. The love that he has for NC State has helped us keep a special relationship ever since.”Both NC State and Boston College made the NCAA Tournament last season and have aspirations of mirroring that success in 2017. Even with a game on the line and the potential for a series win at Fenway Park, April 22 will be about much more than a game for the two programs.