Series opener against Delaware results in home loss for Huskies


Photo courtesy Jim Pierce

Redshirt senior infielder Spenser Smith lunges to nab the ball out of the air. Smith went zero for three in Friday’s game against Delaware.

Sarah Popeck, news staff

Another weekend at Friedman Diamond means another series for the Huskies (23-6, 6-4 CAA). This time, they are facing the Delaware Blue Hens (15-4, 6-4 CAA) for a conference matchup. An optimistic early lead in Friday’s game turned into a double-digit loss, sacrificing the series opener and falling 10-3.

It was a windy day at the field — players were facing gusts that sometimes played in their favor, but other times worked against them.

Starting on the mound for Northeastern was Wyatt Scotti, a junior right-hander, but Delaware got an early opening and took it. Delaware senior shortstop JJ Freeman started with a single, but it was senior second-baseman Dan Covino’s RBI double that brought him home. Junior catcher Josearmando Diaz followed it up with a single down left field, enabling Covino to score himself and putting Delaware up 2-0.

But the early deficit was not going to stop Northeastern — in the bottom of the first, junior centerfielder Mike Sirota singled and ran to second on a wild pitch from Delaware’s right-handed junior Bryce Greenly. Sirota was able to run home after senior third-baseman Danny Crossen got him to third and senior first-baseman Tyler MacGregor sealed the deal, putting Northeastern on the board.

Crossen scored moments later when freshman right-fielder Cam Maldonado hit an RBI single, tying the score at 2-2 for the Huskies. Maldonado stole a base, but he was left on the diamond.

The second inning resulted in hits for both teams, plus a Sirota stolen base, but neither team was able to break the tie until the bottom of the third.

MacGregor hit a bunt to put him at first, followed by a single hit by senior designated hitter Alex Lane. Next, another single from Maldonado moved everyone up a base — the diamond was loaded, and a wild pitch bouncing off the plate allowed MacGregor to make his way home and tip the score for the Huskies. Lane was tagged before he could earn a run, ending the inning.

Delaware’s batting lineup exploded at the top of the fourth. It started with Andrew Amato, a sophomore left-fielder, who singled, but a homer from junior first-baseman Aidan Kane brought them both around the bases for a 4-3 lead. Luckily, Carmelo Musacchia, a Northeastern freshman second-baseman, dove for the ball in a tumble for a third out to prevent further damage.

Northeastern brought graduate student transfer Patrick Harrington, a right-hander, out of the bullpen, but Delaware still had more to give. Greenly hit a triple, sealing a run thanks to junior third-baseman Joey Loynd. Amato was credited with an RBI when the ball flew out to center field, giving Loynd a chance to score. 

The Huskies struggled in the top of the sixth inning — Harrington started strong with a strikeout, but allowed a walk that left two players on the bases. He was retired to allow sophomore right-hander Brett Dunham into the rotation, but that did not stop Delaware, who squeezed out another run, crediting Loynd with an additional RBI.

The Blue Hens had more than twice the number of runs than the Huskies with a 7-3 lead. They switched Greenly out for sophomore left-hander Eli Atiya who had a 1-2-3 frame in his first inning at the bottom of the sixth and would stay to close out the game.

Over the last three innings, the Huskies lost their momentum. In the seventh, Dunham allowed two walks, and even after MacGregor singled up the middle, no one was able to make another hit to continue the play. Northeastern had two hits over the final third of the game, sealing its loss.

Even though it was up four runs, Delaware did not stop. Diaz was credited with an RBI that sent designated hitter Christian Colmery around the bases for another run in the top of the eighth. Loynd was able to walk when right-handed redshirt senior Nick Davis was on the mound for Northeastern, but a rundown between third and home led to him being tagged out.

Another dangerous situation arose — the bases were loaded in Delaware’s favor, and the Huskies were already imminently losing. Luckily for them, Musacchia made another tumble to get them out of a sticky situation.

In the top of the last inning, right-handed sophomore Jack Beauchesne came out of the bullpen in a last-ditch attempt for Northeastern. Unfortunately for them, Freeman and Covino scored, crediting Loynd with two RBIs to put the Blue Hens in the double digits for a 10-3 lead.

Harrison Feinberg, a freshman left-fielder for the Huskies, made an incredible dive that saved them from another terror.

Throughout the game, Delaware tallied 17 hits, compared to Northeastern’s 10. Diaz and Loynd from the Blue Hens excelled in RBIs with 2 and 4, respectively. Kane had the only homer in the game.

The Huskies have a strong record at home, especially when it comes to series openers, but the weather took a toll on their pitches and catches, preventing them from being able to pull out on top.

Northeastern will return to Friedman Diamond tomorrow for the second game of the series against Delaware, with a first pitch at 1:00 p.m.