Northeastern wins first conference series against JMU

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Northeastern wins first conference series against JMU

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By Jenna Majeski, news staff

The Northeastern baseball team returned to conference play this weekend, defeating James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in a three-game series with a final score of 2-1.  The Huskies also remained victorious in Tuesday’s semifinal Beanpot game against University of Massachusetts Amherst, winning 10-8.

The two victories over James Madison earned the Huskies fourth place in the CAA conference rankings.

Last weekend Northeastern had a bye in conference play and instead played No. 10 Texas Tech University with a disappointing series loss, followed by a 15-8 win against University of Rhode Island on Tuesday.

“We came off a rough weekend at Texas Tech so it was nice to see us be able to bounce back and really focus on being able to win conference games,” third-year Ryan Solomon said.

In their first game on Friday, the Huskies beat James Madison University 10-2, starting off their lead in the first inning and maintaining it throughout the entirety of the game.

Second-year Scott Holzwasser hit a double in the first inning, batting in one runner and setting the tone for a successful game. By the bottom of the second inning Northeastern already had a 3-0 lead that they would add to in the last three innings.

Third-year Tyler Brown pitched six innings for the Huskies, including five straight shutout innings and three strikeouts.

The Huskies’ momentum did not continue into Saturday’s game as they fell to James Madison 6-3. Northeastern was unable to score in the first six innings, but impressive hits by third-year Charlie McConnell, third-year Cam Walsh and Solomon brought the team onto the scoreboard.  

Solomon’s home run brought his total for the season up to four, tying him with third-year Jake Farrell for the team lead. Solomon totaled a .500 batting average this week, and his performance earned him the honor of CAA Player of Week.

“I didn’t actually even know about it until one of my teammates texted me,” Solomon said. “It was a really good week for me and I’m hoping to build off that and continue it throughout the rest of the year.”

In Sunday’s tiebreaker game, Northeastern took a decisive 8-1 win to clinch the series.

Farrell surpassed Solomon for the team’s leader in home runs, hitting a two run-homer in the third inning to take the lead. Farrell had previously batted in Northeastern’s first runner in the first inning.

“On Sunday I thought we did a great job right from the start in preparation for the game and in showing up ready to play,” head coach Mike Glavine said. ”That carried over right into the first inning as we scored a run and played a really solid game the rest of the way.”

On Tuesday the Huskies faced UMass Amherst in the Beanpot semifinal game; they overcame a five-run deficit to win, 10-8.

Northeastern brought in five different pitchers throughout the game to total 12 strikeouts.

With runners batted in during the seventh inning by McConnell, Walsh and Mason Koppens, the Huskies ended the inning 7-5, only two runs behind UMass. But the victory wasn’t set until the eight inning, when second-year Kyle Peterson pinch-hit for a grand slam.

“We had a lot of contributions from a lot of different guys, like we had Kyle Peterson come off the bench and hit a pinch-hit grand slam which is crazy and basically won us the game,” Solomon said. “We had some guys come in from the bullpen to pitch, they came in and did a great job under tough conditions.”

This victory will bring the Huskies to the Beanpot Championship game against Harvard University next Tuesday at the New England Baseball Complex.

“We’ve been to the championship game now a few times, but we haven’t been able to win it,” Walsh said.

Northeastern currently holds six Beanpot championship titles and hasn’t won the Beanpot since 2013, when they beat UMass 6-3. The Huskies faced Boston College in the 2016 championship game, but came up short with a score of 8-2.

This weekend the Huskies will continue conference play against Elon University at home in a three-game series.

“It’s gonna take all nine guys for 27 innings,” Walsh said. “Elon’s definitely a top team in this conference and they’ll be one of the teams at the top at the end of it, so it’s definitely a challenge for us, but I think if we prepare and just play our game we’ll be okay.”