By Joe Barbito, news staff

Despite three quality starts this weekend, the Northeastern University (NU) baseball team dropped two of three to the Elon Phoenix at Friedman Diamond. The Huskies’ weekday game against the Quinnipiac Bobcats featured more runs than the entire weekend combined.

On Friday, NU jumped out to an early lead against Elon on their way to a 6-4 final. Senior second baseman Keith Kelly scored the first run after Elon starter Mason Daniels walked him and the next three batters. NU drew a total of 14 walks on the day and only recorded one extra base hit. The entire lineup got in on the action, with only one batter knocking less than two hits.

Junior Aaron Civale continued his dominance on his way to his fifth win of the season. After a rocky second and third innings, he settled in and held the Phoenix to just three runs. Along with junior closer Mike Fitzgerald, who earned his fifth save, they combined for eight strikeouts on the afternoon.

The rest of the weekend would be a familiar story: Solid pitching performances but no offensive output to back it up.

The Huskies dropped a 2-0 loss behind one of the best starts of senior John Mulry’s season on Saturday. The lefty hurled six innings of one (unearned) run ball and tallied a season-high seven strikeouts, all the while walking just one batter. Mulry was dealt his sixth loss of the season despite pitching his third quality start. The box score for NU featured more zeroes than not, with only two batters, sophomore shortstop Max Burt and freshman outfielder Jake Farrell, reaching base from a hit.

“All three starters gave us quality starts,” head coach Mike Glavine said. “We were unable to cash in with runners in scoring position. There were times where we had a runner on third with less than two outs. Not scoring there came back to bite us.”

Elon would lock up the series on Sunday with a 3-2 victory in extra innings. Junior Dustin Hunt pitched masterfully, surrendering two runs on four hits and two walks. He fanned 10 batters, a career high, but left the game in the seventh after the Phoenix’s designated hitter Tyler McVicar hit a solo homerun to spoil Hunt’s win.

Sophomore pitcher Tyler Robinson would continue his recent dominance by pitching two shutout innings and notching two strikeouts.

Glavine credited Robinson’s summer efforts for his recent success.

“All the credit to him,” he said. “As a freshman, the learning curve for Ty was a lot. He didn’t have the results we wanted, but his work over the summer really paid off.”

Glavine said he loves that he has three pitchers, Robinson, Fitzgerald and freshman Andrew Misiaszek, able to come out of the bullpen and shut down the opposition.

Despite nine quiet innings for Elon bats, NU was unable to get much going. Burt and Kelly both found home, but strikeouts on key at bats left eight runners stranded. Junior Nate Borges earned the start on Wednesday but only went two innings as coach Glavine ended up using seven different pitchers against the Bobcats.

The two teams combined for 20 hits and 14 walks, with the final favoring NU 12-9. Junior infielder Nick Fanneron finished the night with five runs batted in his first game since playing James Madison University a month prior.

Freshman outfielder Charlie McConnell stole his 16th base on the year and has yet to be caught on the base paths. Farrell hit the game winning single in the eighth inning to score McConnell from third.

The Huskies will face the University of Delaware Blue Hens this weekend in a three-game series in Delaware. They will play Bryant University next Tuesday, the top ranked school in New England, and next Wednesday the Huskies take on Boston College for the Beanpot championship.

Photo courtesy Jim Pierce, Northeastern Athletics