Huskies take four of five at Snowbird Classic


Riley Robinson

The baseball team looks on from the dugout during a game against Holy Cross last season.

Jordan Baron, news staff

After starting off the season in an atrocious manner, the Huskies have won seven of their last eight games, including four of five in the Snowbird Baseball Classic over Spring break.

The Huskies (7-4) entered Port Charlotte riding the high of a three-game sweep of USF the weekend before, and were ready to push that momentum into their next game.

Game one:

Senior starter Kyle Murphy led the way in Friday’s game versus Villanova (5-5), tossing seven strong innings and only giving up three runs, all of which came in the first inning from a home run off the bat of freshman catcher Lucas Latrenta. 

Murphy settled in after that, going six innings more and only giving up four hits after the first. He left the game with NU down one, 3-2. The Huskies were not quiet for much longer, however, as they came out with an offensive vengeance in the eighth. Redshirt junior infielder Ian Fair, who went 3-5 in the game, singled to center field to drive in the tying run and advanced to third on a steal and wild throw. Two batters later, with runners on second and third, senior outfielder Kyle Peterson singled to center, putting the Huskies up 4-3.

One more run was scored that inning before the Huskies were retired, and a Corey DiLoreto two-run homer sealed the deal in the ninth for NU, who took the game 7-4. 

Game two:

Junior starter Sam Jacobsak, who is rocking a 1.89 ERA in three starts so far in 2020, took the mound for the Huskies on Saturday versus St. Louis (7-4). The RHP struck out a season-high nine batters over six innings on only one earned run.

NU was down two heading into the bottom of the fifth, but back-to-back two run innings slingshot them into the lead. Junior right fielder Jeff Costello led off the bottom half of the fifth with a triple to right field and scored two batters later on a wild pitch. With two outs and nobody on, senior second basemen Scott Holzwasser slapped the second triple of the inning to center field and scored after sophomore center fielder Jared Dupere singled up the middle. 

Fair, who went 2-4 in this game, led off the sixth with a single and advanced to second on an error. DiLoreto continued his hot bat with an infield single, before a wild pitch advanced him to second and scored Fair from third to give the Huskies the lead. After advancing to third, DiLoreto scored the Huskies fourth run of the game on a groundout. 

After St. Louis came back and tied it in the top of the seventh, Dupere slammed the door with his second RBI single of the night, putting the Huskies up 5-4. That score remained constant until the end, as sophomore reliever Owen Langen pitched a two-inning save to secure NU the win. 

Game three: 

After taking down St. Louis in the 11 a.m. game, the Huskies faced their second opponent of the day in Eastern Michigan (1-10). 

Freshman pitcher Cam Schlittler took the mound for his first collegiate start and performed exceptionally well, going six innings and giving up only one run and just three hits, while striking out six. 

The Huskies were quiet offensively for a majority of the game and only scratched across their first run in the bottom of the seventh. Tied 1-1 heading into the eighth, the NU bats erupted for a five-run frame.

Three singles started off the inning for the Huskies off the bats of Dupere, Fair and DiLoreto. Peterson walked to score the winning run, and a sac-fly, a triple and a single scored four more runs before the inning came to an end. Junior reliever Brandon Dufault slammed the door for the Huskies, getting three outs in the ninth to secure the third victory of the classic.

Game four:

After defeating Eastern Michigan on Saturday, the Huskies took on their rival to the north again Sunday, and defeated them once again, this time by a blowout score of 17-7. 

Freshman starter Sebastian Keane made his third start of the season, going five innings and giving up only one earned run on four hits and an impressive ten strikeouts. The outing improves upon the slow start to the season for Keane, who lowered his ERA to 6.23.

The Huskies had four three-run innings in the game and iced the contest with a five-run eighth. Holzwasser cleared the bases with a double in the second inning for three RBI’s before Dupere did the same with a triple in the fourth. DiLoreto joined in on the fun in the seventh with the Huskies up 10-3, plating two more runs with a single to center. An inning later, DiLoreto dribbled an infield single for another RBI, securing the 17th and final run for the Huskies in the game. With the 2-5 performance, DiLoreto improved his batting average to .341, third behind Dupere (.413) and redshirt junior catcher Teddy Beaudet (.379) for the team lead. 

Game five:

Wednesday’s final game of the Snowbird Classic saw the Huskies take on Western Michigan (8-5) in a back and forth offensive festival that resulted in a 17-16 loss for NU.

Freshman pitcher Thomas Balboni got smacked in his first collegiate start, giving up six earned runs on only 1.0 IP. The Huskies quickly found themselves in a deep hole, down 10-4 after just three innings.

Despite the early deficit, DiLoreto continued his rampage, smacking two home runs in the opening innings to bring his total to three on the year thus far. 

Down 12-6 entering the eighth, the Huskies struck for four runs to bring themselves back within two, powered by a bases clearing triple for Peterson. However, Western Michigan responded, evening the frames with four runs of their own in the bottom half, putting the Huskies back into a six-run deficit.

The resilient NU squad refused to go down without a fight and plated the six runs they needed in the top half of the ninth to tie the game at 16. The comeback was charged by a leadoff triple and a plethora of wild pitches from the Western Michigan bullpen.

Still, the comeback proved useless, as Dufault issued a leadoff walk that ended up as the Husky demise. Western Michigan junior outfielder Blake Dunn bunted down the third base line to Fair, who made a throwing error that resulted in the winning run scoring, ending the game at 17-16.

The defeat marked the only Snowbird Classic loss for the Huskies, who will take on Florida Atlantic (8-4) on the road this weekend in a three-game set.