Huskies take series against Cougars to finish regular season on top, head to CAA Tournament


Photo credit Jim Pierce

Tyler MacGregor takes a swing during the Huskies’ weekend series against the College of Charleston. Northeastern took the series 2-1.

Sarah Popeck, news staff

Stepping onto Friedman Diamond for one last matchup, the Huskies (41-12, 20-10 CAA) concluded their momentous regular season with a series win against the College of Charleston (34-20, 18-12 CAA) last weekend.

In game one, the Huskies cemented their win in the first four innings with a nine-run lead. Freshman right-handed pitcher Aiven Cabral opened the weekend on the mound, striking out four players in six innings and only allowing five hits.

For the Cougars, right-handed senior Ty Good immediately walked leadoff hitter and sophomore center fielder Mike Sirota to start the bottom of the first. Singles by redshirt senior third baseman Danny Crossen and senior left fielder Alex Lane got him home. After another walk — this time for freshman right fielder Cam Maldonado — Crossen scored on a passed ball. 

Good walked two more players, which scored Lane and loaded the bases. Another passed ball gave Maldonado the chance to score the fourth run of the inning. After one more walk, the batting lineup restarted with Sirota in the leadoff, but Good was able to punch him out to get out of the inning at 4-0.

In the bottom of the second, Tyler MacGregor smashed the ball out of the park to bring him around the bases for his first homer of the weekend.

After walking Crossen and Lane, the Cougars retired Good for right-handed junior Michael Schultz, but the damage was already done. Both Huskies stole a base, and while Crossen got out on his way home, Lane successfully scored a run thanks to an RBI single from Maldonado.

Entering the third, the Huskies were already up six runs, adding another in the bottom of the inning when Crossen’s single scored Sirota. The fourth brought two more runs when Maldonado scored on a fielder’s choice and junior designated hitter Jimmy Sullivan made it home on Sirota’s RBI single. 

Northeastern maintained its 9-0 lead until the top of the sixth. A throwing error put Cougar sophomore outfielder Tyler Sorrentino on the bases, and senior infielder Joseph Mershon’s single moved him up. Junior second baseman Luke Wood was credited with two RBIs when they both made it home on his single. 

Amidst a mix of walks and strikeouts, neither team had a successful scoring play for the remainder of the game, giving the Huskies a 9-2 win to start the weekend.

Northeastern returned to Friedman Diamond for game two Friday ready for another win.

This time, the Cougars scored first when Mershon hit a home run to right field at the top of the first inning, but Sirota was sure to match it in the bottom. Right-handed senior Trey Pooser walked Sirota to first, and two consecutive plays sent him home for a 1-1 start to the game.

MacGregor hit his second home run of the weekend in the bottom of the third, sending the ball out of right field to put the Huskies at a 2-1 lead.

Right-handed junior Eric Yost stayed on the mound for eight innings of work, striking out a whopping seven batters and allowing only two hits. He prevented the Cougars from regaining their lead and allowed the Huskies to build up theirs.

At the bottom of the sixth, MacGregor made a base hit that gave him the opportunity to score when Lane hit an RBI double. 

Lane was credited with another RBI in the bottom of the eighth for the same reason: his single allowed MacGregor to run home again for another run.

The Huskies had a strong eighth inning as Yost finished his stint on the mound with a 1-2-3 agenda. Lane earned yet another RBI in the bottom of the inning when his single allowed MacGregor, who was put on the bases when he was hit by a pitch, to run home again.

A single by Crossen and sophomore pinch runner Justin Bosland put them both on the bases, and they advanced once more on a passed ball. Maldonado was walked by sophomore right-hander Aidan Hunter, loading the bases, and another passed ball allowed Crossen to score. 

The Cougars tried to make a comeback, as Sorrentino made it to third, but redshirt junior right-hander Jake Gigliotti ended the game by striking out two batters, guaranteeing the Huskies the series with a 5-1 win.

The series ended with six homers in six innings Saturday as the weather forecast forced an early end to game three.

Charleston started the home run streak when graduate student designated hitter Tyler Steffy sent one beyond left field to score him and two other runners at the top of the game.

Sirota responded with one of his own at the bottom out to right field, but Northeastern was trailing behind at 3-1.

The Huskies’ deficit grew in the top of the second inning when Charleston sophomore third baseman Patrick Sanchez scored on a play from Sorrentino. Afterward, sophomore first baseman Cole Mathis hit an RBI home run, followed by another homer from senior right fielder Trotter Harlan. 

Mathis tallied another RBI with an out-of-the-park hit in the top of the fourth, and with the Cougars up 9-1, Northeastern needed a strong return against left-handed graduate student Connor Campbell on the mound.

Redshirt freshman left fielder Harrison Feinberg started to rally in the bottom of the fourth when he tacked on a home run, but rain closed the game after the sixth inning, leaving the final at 9-2 as the Huskies fell to Charleston in the last contest of the series.

With the series win over the Cougars, the Huskies earned the sweep in each home series they faced this season. The Huskies also set a new team record for the most home runs in a season at 99, including twelve from Maldonado, who broke the rookie homer season record. 

A multitude of weekly accolades from the CAA recognized the team’s strength throughout the season, including Scotti being named CAA Pitcher of the Week in mid-March and Maldonado earning CAA Rookie of the Week twice.

With 41 wins this season — the program record for most single-season wins — and the program’s first top-25 ranking, the third-seeded Huskies head to South Carolina for the CAA tournament Wednesday.

In 2021, the Huskies walked off the field as CAA champions. Last year, they fell to Hofstra (26-26, 13-15 CAA) in the championship round — Northeastern’s third appearance in the last four tournaments —  but after a redemption win against the Pride just a few weeks ago, Northeastern is fired up and ready for what’s ahead.

Northeastern will face William and Mary (32-23, 15-15 CAA) in round one of the CAA tournament Wednesday at 4 p.m.