Huskies’ doubleheader home opener brings a double-digit sweep, taking the series win against North Carolina A&T


Patrick O'Neal

Freshman pitcher Aiven Cabral pitches at Friedman Diamond in Northeastern’s first home series of the year. The Huskies finished the weekend 2-1 to take home the series win.

Sarah Popeck, news correspondent

After a postponement due to rain, the Huskies (12-4, 3-3 CAA) brought their best for their first two home games at Friedman Diamond Friday against North Carolina A&T (10-9, 3-3 CAA), winning 14-0 and 9-4, respectively.

The Huskies have been on the road for four weeks, and head coach Mike Glavine expressed that the excitement to be home and the burden of traveling is reflected in their playing.

“All that emotion of being on the road for four weeks came out in both games,” Glavine said.  “We came out just like we’d hoped for a home opener.”

In their first game, the Huskies started strong with a home run at the bottom of the first inning by graduate student first baseman Tyler MacGregor.

The momentum continued when Aggies right-handed pitcher Connor Blantz let three more runs in. The first was a home run by freshman outfielder Cam Maldonado; the last two were attributed to junior infielder Luke Beckstein, whose hit to left field both brought him home and cleared junior center fielder Gregory Bozzo from first base.

In the third inning, the Aggies switched their pitcher to junior right-hander Ethan Snyder, but that didn’t stop the Huskies. MacGregor was on fire, hitting a single and making it to home base after junior center fielder Jimmy Sullivan tallied a single as well. Senior Alex Lane hit a triple and followed through to home when redshirt senior infielder Spenser Smith singled, bringing their total runs to 7-0. Maldonado scored once more, and by the end of the third inning, the Huskies were already up eight runs.

MacGregor did it again in the bottom of the fourth, smacking a stunning home run. He also prevented the Aggies from making a run, defending first base by tagging out hitters.

The sixth inning brought more points to the tally when redshirt senior utility player Danny Crossen hit it out of the park and brought the Huskies into the double digits. Lane then hit a home run, allowing himself and MacGregor to score, boosting the Huskies to a twelve-point lead.

Wyatt Scotti, Northeastern’s junior right-handed pitcher, stayed strong for all of his seven innings, throwing strike after strike for a total of five strikeouts.

The Huskies then brought out Brett Dunham, a sophomore right-hander, to take over Scotti’s streak. Meanwhile, North Carolina swapped its pitcher out to sophomore right-hander Brock Duff to close out the game in an attempt to minimize their defeat. 

Unfortunately for the Aggies, that would not be enough — Northeastern sophomore infielder Jack Doyle snuck another run in and freshman center fielder Matt Brinker brought the final score to 14-0 after slowly making his way to home base through multiple plays.

Glavine saw that the home opener was an opportunity for many new and old players alike to come to bat.

“Everyone contributed. Guys came off the bench and got home runs, and we started some different guys,” Glavine said. “We got the energy going with contributions from freshman, graduate transfers, transfers and returning players.”

In the second game, North Carolina realized it needed to step up its play. They brought Coley Kilpatrick, a junior right-hander, in to start the game. After two scoreless innings, the Aggies earned their first tally of the day at the top of the third when right-hander Jaheim Brown singled up the middle and Camden Jackson, a junior outfielder, was able to score.

The Huskies weren’t going to let one run bring them down. On a hit from MacGregor, redshirt freshman outfielder Harrison Feinberg ran home to put Northeastern on the board. 

The Aggies earned their next mark of the day in the fifth inning when Jackson hit a single, allowing redshirt junior and infielder Cort Maynard to run back to home base.

Brinker continued playing as strongly as he had at the end of the previous game; by hitting a homer and tallying an RBI in the bottom of the fifth inning, he brought the Huskies back on top.

The Huskies’ total doubled in the sixth inning — a hit from Smith prompted Lane to score, center fielder sophomore Mike Sirota added a point and Maldonado scored another run. 

The Aggies tried to make a comeback with a Jackson homer, and redshirt junior outfielder Cameran Brantley brought the score up two points, but it was no match for the Huskies. After Maldonado scored another run, Smith finished off the game by running home when Feinberg doubled down the left-field line.

The two teams returned to Friedman Diamond Saturday to finish the series, but the Huskies slipped up in a 5-3 loss. While the end of the game seemed promising as Smith came to bat and stared at players left on base, an incredible save by opposing redshirt freshman shortstop Sabin Roane brought the game to a finish.

“Anytime we play at home, it’s special. Traditionally, we’ve been a really good home team,” Glavine said. “We’re turning a page, and [Friday] was a great start for what we want to do at home.”

The Huskies will play the Boston College Eagles (14-3, 4-2 ACC) at Friedman Diamond on Tuesday at 3 p.m.