Cabral shutout paired with a twenty-run game gives Huskies the series win against Delaware


Ethan Valery

Junior right-handed pitcher Eric Yost whips the ball toward a Delaware batter. Yost notched a career-high nine strikeouts in Sunday’s game.

Sarah Popeck, news staff

When the Huskies (25-6, 8-4 CAA) arrived at Friedman Diamond Saturday, they had already given up a game in their series against Delaware (15-16, 6-6 CAA). In an action-packed weekend, Northeastern won the remaining two contests to secure the series.

“I’m proud of how the team responded after losing the first Friday game of the year,” said head coach Mike Glavine. “Our guys were relentless. We had a really good game plan, and the guys executed it.”

Saturday, it was Aiven Cabral, a junior right-hander, who led the Huskies to victory. Throwing 97 pitches over the course of a full game, he struck out seven players and only allowed four hits, preventing the Blue Hens from making their way onto the scoreboard.

Northeastern’s batting lineup was stacked — even though no one hit a ball out of the park, every player was able to get a hit. Freshman right fielder Cam Maldonado earned three RBIs on top of a run, and junior outfielder Mike Sirota scored twice. 

Saturday’s game finished at 9-0, tying the series up and making Sunday crucial to tip the scale.

Sunday brought a complete explosion for the Huskies. Delaware struck first at the top of the first when senior shortstop JJ Freeman hit a homer to put them on the board. 

Northeastern’s Eric Yost, a right-handed junior pitcher, responded with two consecutive strikeouts and prevented any more runs in his 72 pitches across six innings. He struck out nine players in total. For the Blue Hens, Nate Rolka, a right-handed junior, started on the mound.

Maldonado cracked a homer in the second inning to tie the game at 1-1. That was followed by a second home run by Carmelo Musacchia, a freshman second baseman, who put the Huskies in the lead — one they’d keep for the rest of the game

Delaware retired Rolka for junior right-hander Tyler Strechay in the bottom of the third, but junior center fielder Mike Sirota came ready. Sirota started with a single and made his way home thanks to a wild pitch and a passed ball, putting the score at 3-1.

At the plate, the Huskies were on fire. As the fourth inning kicked off, they began running with no end in sight. It started with a single from Maldonado to put a runner on the bases. Afterward, Strechay allowed a walk for junior designated hitter Jack Thorbahn and hit Musacchia with a pitch.

Junior catcher Gregory Bozzo stepped up to bat with the bases loaded and hit an RBI single to send Maldonado home and put himself on first base. Luke Beckstein followed with a hit to left field, scoring Mussachia and Thorbahn to earn two RBIs.

Strechay allowed another walk when Sirota came to hit, resulting in a pitching change to junior right-hander Owen Margolis. Bozzo ran home when senior first baseman Tyler MacGregor grounded the ball to the shortstop. Even though Sirota and MacGregor got out on a double play, it did not kill the Huskies’ momentum

They were unstoppable — senior third baseman Danny Crossen smashed the ball over the fence to bring the score to 9-1 as he cleared Beckstein from the bases.

Senior left fielder Alex Lane added a single and Thorbahn followed with an RBI hit.

Margolis let another walk, this time for Maldonado. Then it was deja vu — Bozzo came to the diamond with a runner at every base. Delaware was slowly slipping and losing focus; this time, it was a throwing error that brought him to first, scoring Thorbahn and Maldonado. After nine runs and six hits in the fourth inning, the Huskies were in the double digits with a 12-1 lead.

MacGregor walked in the fifth and Margolis hit Crossen with a pitch. After Lane reached first on a fielder’s choice that got MacGregor out, Maldonado struck out to end the inning.

Out came the next Delaware pitcher to face the Huskies in the bottom of the sixth. Senior right-hander Dan Frake took the mound at an 11-point deficit and immediately got himself into trouble. After a fielder’s choice put Musacchia on first, Frake allowed a walk for Bozzo and Beckstein singled. The bases were loaded yet again.

Sirota, one of Northeastern’s standout hitters,   hit a grand slam that pulled Northeastern to a whopping 16-1 lead.

“[Sirota] had a really good weekend,” Glavine said. “He had a bunch of singles and got on base a bunch of times and then he had that grand slam.”

Frake soon lost his footing, letting two more walks for MacGregor and Crossen and hitting sophomore pinch hitter Justin Bosland with a pitch. After one out, he was retired for junior right-hander Jack DiLeo. 

A different pitcher was intended to challenge them but Northeastern did not budge. Sophomore Luke Masiuk rotated in to pinch hit for Maldonado, singling on another error and giving MacGregor the opportunity to score. 

Thorbahn followed with a two-run double. Bosland and freshman pinch runner Sean McGee were able to score, and Bozzo hit another single to score Masiuk and put the Huskies at the twenty-point threshold.

At that point, Yost had done enough damage, and it was time for junior right-hander Jake Gigliotti to pitch. The Blue Hens tried to start a play when junior third baseman Joey Loynd and junior center fielder Jake Dunion both singled, but Gigliotti shut it down by striking out three players and cutting the inning off.

Northeastern junior right-hander Michael Gemma stepped in for an inning but allowed junior infielder Eric Ludman to walk. Once Ludman was on the bases, senior second baseman Dan Covino’s RBI gave Delaware another run — only their second of the game.

Freshman right-hander James Morice came to deliver what was hoped to be the final pitches for the Huskies, but the bases were loaded after two walks and a single. He was retired for left-handed junior James Quinlivan, who immediately let Delaware walk in a run. 

Freeman then hit a double down the first base line that credited him with two RBIs and gave Delaware two more runs, slating them at 20-5, but Covino’s ball to left field earned their final out to end the game.

“They [came] out flying yesterday and the same thing today, and it’s another step for this team,” Glavine said. “To lose one game and watch us win two — I think that’s going to go a long way for the rest of the year.”

The Huskies will play University of Massachusetts Amherst (4-19, 0-6 A10) Tuesday in the consolation game of the Baseball Beanpot, followed by a weekend series against Stony Brook (12-17, 4-8 CAA) on Long Island.