Huskies sweep Hartford in weekend series, making a comeback


Patrick O'Neal

Redshirt senior Danny Crossen steps up to the plate against North Carolina A&T. Crossen notched three runs in the Huskies’ weekend series against Hartford.

Sarah Popeck, news staff

The Northeastern baseball team (17-4, 3-3 CAA) continues to show it is not a team to be messed with: with their 17th win of the season – a series sweep against the Hartford Hawks (1-12, 0-0 AEC) – the Huskies have proven yet again that they’re up to big things this year.

In the third weekend series sweep for the Huskies this season, it was clear the Huskies have potential with some standout players and an incredible pitching staff. 

For the first game of the series, the Huskies brought right-handed junior Wyatt Scotti to the mound and he did not disappoint. As expected, he pitched six innings without letting a single run from the Hawks in. He struck out eight batters and didn’t allow a hit until the sixth.

Hartford’s sophomore right-hander Alec Couture stayed on the mound for five innings, letting in a total of eight runs and allowing even more hits. 

When senior left-fielder Alex Lane stepped up to the plate for Northeastern in the third, he earned an RBI, sending the ball deep in the field and allowing redshirt senior third-baseman Danny Crossen to score the first run for the Huskies. 

In the fifth inning alone, the Huskies were able to score seven runs against the Hawks. This was a result of Crossen’s tally and a 3-for-3, first-baseman graduate student Tyler MacGregor notching an RBI single and Harrison Feinberg’s bases-loaded walk. Additionally, junior catcher Gregory Bozzo drove in two more runs when he hit a double, and junior infielder Luke Beckstein helped Feinberg score.

Left-handed sophomore Luke Rier from the Hawks was rotated in to pitch in hopes that he could slow down the Huskies’ lead, but his first inning brought two homers. In the bottom of the sixth, MacGregor hit the ball home with a runner on the bases, adding two runs for his fifth homer of the season. Afterward, freshman infielder Carmelo Musacchia made the first home run of his collegiate career.

The Hawks retired Rier mid-inning for right-handed freshman Dyllon King, who prevented any more runs for the remainder of the sixth and seventh.

With an 11-0 lead, Northeastern allowed Carson Walsh, a right-handed freshman, to make his collegiate pitching debut, allowing only two walks in the seventh and no runs.

He was soon switched out in the eighth for left-handed junior Will Jones. Jones allowed one hit from sophomore outfielder Ryan Knight but got the Huskies out of the inning by striking a batter out.

Feinberg continued pushing himself and hit a home run in the eighth, scoring Lane and sophomore infielder Jack Doyle alongside him. He brought the final score to 14-0 to start the series, ending the game as a standout with 4 RBIs and a homer for the day.

In the final inning, Hayden Smith, a sophomore right-hander, was prepared to finish off the game. In just 12 pitches, he struck out the opposition and secured the win for Northeastern.

Returning to Friedman Diamond on Sunday, the Huskies had momentum from their first game and were ready for a doubleheader.

Sunday morning started off strong at the top of the third with an RBI from Crossen and a homer from Lane — his eighth of the season — to start the score at 3-0. Hartford’s rough start motivated left-handed graduate student Robert Chaney to pull his game together, preventing any scoring in the next two innings until he was rotated out for right-handed freshman Joe Dooley.

Eric Yost, a Northeastern right-handed junior, did not allow any scoring from the Hawks through the first five innings, but in the sixth inning, disaster struck for the Huskies. Hartford plated six runs thanks to a fielding error that allowed two runners to make their way home. 

The Huskies went down 6-3, even after utilizing three different pitchers during the sixth inning. Right-handed graduate student Patrick Harrington finished off the last of the frame and stayed on the mound to close the game. He allowed no runs of his own and struck out four players.

The fate of the game seemed sealed as the innings rolled by. Hartford put right-handed senior Manny Corporan on the mound to close the final inning and soon realized the Huskies would not go down without a fight.

After being in extremely dangerous territory and almost losing, Northeastern’s batting shone through in the last inning. The ninth brought three straight singles, and a homer by Lane coupled with MacGregor’s single up the middle allowed Northeastern to tie the game.

Feinberg walked, and with the bases loaded, a grand slam from redshirt sophomore infielder Jack Thorbahn allowed the Huskies to walk off the first game of the day with a 10-6 lead. 

In the second game of the doubleheader, right-handed freshman Aiven Cabral only allowed two runs in his 6.1 innings, and Griffin Young, a right-handed graduate student pitcher, closed out the remainder to prevent further damage.

Musacchia made the first run of the game with a double that allowed Feinberg to score, but Hartford followed close behind with Knight’s RBI that moved sophomore infielder Devin Kellogg home, tying the game at 1-1.

The Huskies regained their lead in the bottom of the fifth behind a point from sophomore centerfielder Justin Bosland, earned on a single from infielder redshirt senior Spenser Smith. Lane then hit a single that prompted Smith to run home, bringing Northeastern to a 3-1 lead.

Hartford’s right-handed sophomore Edwin Almanzar Jr. pitched for the entire game, allowing three runs in all nine innings, and prevented any runs after the fifth.

The Hawks scored a run in the top of the seventh when Knight ran home on a single by sophomore outfielder Derek Benzinger, but it was not enough. At that point, Young stepped in to relieve Cabral and shut out the rest of the game, keeping the final score at 3-2 and giving the Huskies the series sweep.

Northeastern will play Central Connecticut State on Tuesday at 3 p.m., followed by a home game on Wednesday against Rhode Island College at 3:05 p.m.