Stepping up to the plate


Sadie Parker

The Northeastern University men’s baseball team begins their spring 2022 season.

Lauren Thomas, news staff

Coming back from a modified season affected by COVID-19, the Northeastern University baseball team will now play the entire conference, including games in Charleston, South Carolina, Fort Myers, Florida and other cities along the East Coast. 

When classes started in September, the largely-novice team began preseason conditioning with regular morning practices and scheduled lift times.  

“We were much more aggressive in the fall with our practices and how we ran things and what we wanted to work on,” said head coach Mike Glavine. “The biggest difference this fall was just understanding we had a lot of new faces and a lot of freshmen, and really teaching them how we wanted them to play — like teaching them all our offensive and defensive stuff, and we just really challenged them to work hard.”  

Out of the 40 players on the team this season, 30 are underclassmen. With such a dominant underclassman presence, the team dynamic shifted, putting more responsibility on returning players. 

“Last year, we just hit the ground running because we had so many veteran players, so many players that have been through college baseball seasons and been through them with us,” Glavine said. “This year, it’s just been more about just being patient and kind of just teaching them as we go.”  

For outfielder and redshirt senior Jeff Costello, this team is one of the most competitive he has seen during his time at Northeastern.

“It being my fifth year and having seen all the guys above me graduate and move on to their professional careers, you kind of feel that sense of, ‘maybe this is my time to step up and really lead things here,’” Costello said. “We have a great group of upperclassmen, so I think between us we hopefully can set a good example for the younger guys.” 

Already proving to be an integral part of the team, six underclassmen started in the first game of the season Feb. 18 against Long Island University. 

“They bring their own kind of fun energy to practice and games,” Costello said. “Bus rides are always a highlight with guys being goofballs. Like any team, we have like our core older guys that hopefully we can set a good example for the underclassmen, but they’ve been really good at falling right in line and bringing their own personalities to the field every day.” 

Despite adjusting to the new players, preseason preparations did not look all that different this year.  

“In terms of preparation, we would practice during the week, and then have our intersquad scrimmages where a lot of the guys who we hadn’t seen play yet would pitch,” Costello said. “For a lot of the freshmen, that’s when we get the chance to see them for the first time, so it’s always fun to see the new guys.”  

At the Penn State Tournament Feb. 18-20, the first tournament of the 2022 season, the team went 2-2.  

“With all the new faces, our play was kind of uneven,” Glavine said. “We pitched well at times and hit well at times and played defense well at times, but we also made a lot of mistakes, so it was kind of what we expected.”  

One standout from the Penn State Tournament was freshman center fielder Mike Sirota, who received the CAA Rookie of the Week Award after racking up two doubles, a home run, and five RBI.  

“It was definitely cool, but I feel like it adds a lot of pressure for the upcoming weeks,” Sirota said. “It also was a huge thing for me and my family just having that award, because the first weekend was really hard to play through. Especially because I was starting right away, so any award was sort of a relief.”  

The team’s focus for the rest of the season remains on tightening up techniques to not give away free bases, improving pitching and strengthening the team dynamic. 

“You could tell from game one that we’re kind of learning how to play together, but we definitely have adjusted quickly, and we’ve been definitely trending upwards,” Costello said. “Our coach always says we can beat anyone in the country and we can also lose to anyone in the country just depending on if we can bring it that day, so this is a group that definitely stepped up to that challenge, which is exciting.”  

The Huskies take the field for the first home game this Tuesday against University of Massachusetts Amherst.