The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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‘Unfinished business’: After a historic season, the Huskies are back with a vengeance

Ethan Valery
Cam Maldonado rounds home base. Maldonado broke the Northeastern record for most home runs by a rookie with 13 in 2023.

Flashback to May 2023 — the Huskies walked off the field with pride after an incredibly momentous season. 

They set a program record with 44 wins and 106 homers and appeared in the NCAA tournament for the 10th time. The Huskies had never found themselves with a midweek top-25 ranking before.

Unfortunately, they fell short in the CAA Championship against UNC Wilmington, and after clinching an at-large spot in the NCAA regionals, Northeastern walked home empty-handed.

“It was a historical season in many ways. We didn’t have any regrets. It was a memorable season that I’ll never forget,” said head coach Mike Glavine. “But once the dust settled and we could start to reflect, we felt like we had unfinished business.”

It was also the last game for many of the team’s key assets. Some of the departures included third-baseman Danny Crossen, shortstop Spenser Smith, and pitchers Nick Davis, Pat Harrington and Griffin Young.

The program also lost star pitcher Eric Yost, who exited after his junior season after being drafted by the San Diego Padres.

They leave big shoes to fill, which is where the new recruits come into play.

“Once you start to transition to the next season, that’s where you get excited about the new players coming in. The freshmen, the transfers, the returning players that you now know are going to have a bigger role,” Glavine said.

Walking onto the diamond for the 2024 season, Northeastern is already racking up accolades. The Huskies are ranked 23rd in a CAA preseason poll, and numerous players have received conference shoutouts.

“Everybody is pretty jacked up, we’re bouncing off of a year like last year. Everybody’s ready to prove everybody else wrong,” said sophomore pitcher Aiven Cabral, who led the team in strikeouts last season. “We’re ranked 23rd, 22 teams ahead of us, and I think everybody’s just ready to get on the field and kind of prove that we’re better than 23.”

The team debuts Friday with ten freshmen, five transfer additions and many returning faces from last season.

Aiven Cabral throws a pitch. Cabral had a team-best ERA of 2.26 as a freshman last season. (Patrick O’Neal)

The freshman crop includes six incoming pitchers: left-handers Max Marchetti and David McSweeney, and right-handers Owen Roy, Alex Lanzillotti, Nick Coniglio and Jack Cropper. Joining the outfield is Ryan Gerety and Nate Lam. Matt Thorsen and Chris Walsh will be in the infield.

Sophomore Jack Goodman, a transfer from Medfield, Massachusetts, joins the roster after being recruited out of high school by the Huskies and attending Pepperdine University for his freshman season.

“He’s a local kid who didn’t want to make the same mistake twice, I always tell him jokingly. We recruited him out of high school, and he’s a really talented player,” Glavine said.

Four of the transfers are pitchers — Jack Bowery, a junior, comes from Marist College; Brendan McFall and Aidan Tucker, both graduate students from Tufts University; and Cooper McGrath, another graduate student from Trinity College.

But it wouldn’t be the Northeastern baseball squad without some key figures returning for another year to complete the roster. Cabral and sophomore Cam Maldonado were standouts in their first season, where Maldonado set the freshman home run record (13) and Cabral received several conference honors.

Graduate student Tyler MacGregor will resume his position defending first base, and graduate student Alex Lane is certain to continue as a strong hitter. Senior catcher Greg Bozzo will continue to build relationships with pitchers in his crucial role as a catcher after starting in 39 games last season. Sophomore infielder Carmelo Musacchia will also help to fill graduated players’ shoes. 

Junior infielder Jack Doyle is also expected to step into a bigger role this season.“He had a tremendous summer and has had a really good fall and winter for us,” Glavine said. “Looking for him to try to fill [Crossen]’s shoes and [Smith]’s, to an extent.”

And, of course, star player Mike Sirota is set for his junior season as he remains a key player to watch in college baseball. Named CAA player of the year at the culmination of the 2022-23 season and receiving preseason All-American honors, he looks to keep improving and challenging himself. He is predicted to be a first-round pick in the draft, currently expected to fall at No. 11, which may mean that this is his last season donning the red and black.

“He’s a really smart baseball player. Allowing him to grow from a leadership perspective has been fun to watch,” Glavine said. “The pressure that he’s feeling now will help him during the season because it’s only gonna get a little more intense, but the sky’s the limit.”

Five more Huskies received preseason all-CAA mentions — Cabral, Lane, Maldonado, MacGregor and redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Jake Gigliotti. Cabral, Lane and Maldonado also added preseason All-American honors to their many accolades.

“There’s your combination of newbies, transfers and then returning players that have improved and will step up,” Glavine said. “We have a lot of depth on the mound in positioning to fill the holes from the guys that left.”

As their season kicks off Friday with a three-game series against Arizona in Tucson, this year’s squad is one to keep an eye on for the immense potential it brings onto the field.

“It’s being focused every single day and being at our best every single day, no matter what,” Bozzo said. “We want to take this program to new heights and finish things we started, finish the things that we’re still thinking about from last year and a few years ago.”

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