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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Huskies come out on top after back-and-forth game with Merrimack

Carmelo+Musacchia+readies+himself+at+the+plate.+Musacchia+earned+one+hit+in+four+at+bats.
Katie Billman
Carmelo Musacchia readies himself at the plate. Musacchia earned one hit in four at bats.

After defeating cross-town rival Boston College March 19, the Northeastern baseball team (14-5) returned home to Friedman Diamond the next day, March 20, to host the Merrimack Warriors (3-15). It was the fifth time the teams had ever played each other, with Northeastern victorious in all the matchups. The Huskies continued their undefeated-at-home streak with a 9-5 win. 

Northeastern came in swinging, tacking on two runs off four hits in the first inning to start the back-and-forth game strong. 

Junior center fielder Mike Sirota had the first hit for the Huskies, doubling to left field in his first at bat and leaving his early-season slump in the dust.

Graduate student first baseman Tyler MacGregor sent him the rest of the way around the bases with a home run, giving Northeastern an early 2-0 lead. 

The Warriors responded with a homer of their own off the bat of sophomore catcher Matthew Chatelle, tying the score at the top of the second. 

Northeastern dug deep into the bullpen against Merrimack, getting reps to six different pitchers, more than the Huskies typically rotate through. After 39 pitches and five strikeouts, junior right-hander Brett Dunham was retired in favor of sophomore right-hander Ryan Griffin at the bottom of the third. 

Griffin let through one run, as Merrimack snuck ahead 3-2, but after walking two batters in the fourth inning, freshman right-handed pitcher Nick Coniglio took his place. Northeastern’s defense had already racked up two outs on a double play, so Coniglio just needed to secure the third, and the Huskies made it out of the inning unscathed.

Ryan Griffin pitches in a game against Merrimack March 20. Griffin threw 35 pitches through 1.2 innings. (Katie Billman)

At the bottom of fifth, Northeastern got back on top. Sophomore transfer Jack Goodman added a home run to his breakout season, sending himself and MacGregor home for a 4-3 lead. 

After edging back ahead 5-4, the Warriors began to struggle, and Northeastern jumped at the opportunity. 

Sophomore right-hander Owen Zadrozny only lasted four pitches before being swapped out, as two of those throws hit Northeastern batters, putting the Huskies in scoring position. 

Junior right-handed reliever Dawson Logie didn’t do much better, as Northeastern was able to score three runs in the next two at bats. Sirota and MacGregor both struck doubles, and a single from Goodman then added on the fourth run of the inning. After walking senior catcher Jimmy Sullivan, Logie was retired for sophomore left-hander Zach Broderick. Broderick was more successful than the previous two pitchers, but still walked two Huskies, giving Northeastern a fifth run. 

With a solid 9-5 lead, the Huskies held firm. Redshirt senior left-hander James Quinlivan pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two batters, and the Warriors couldn’t find a hit for the rest of the game. They could only get one runner on the bases, when Chatelle walked in the top of the eighth, but Merrimack was unable to close the gap.

The rest of the game was quiet for the home team as well. Northeastern was nearly able to extend its lead, with Sirota making it all the way to third base in the bottom of the seventh, but Sullivan’s groundout left him stranded. 

With its third straight victory, Northeastern heads into conference play on a hot streak. The Huskies will travel to Hempstead, New York this weekend to face Hofstra in a three-game series. Northeastern swept its series with Hofstra last season, and will look to do the same when they kick off CAA play with a double-header Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

About the Contributor
Amelia Ballingall, Sports Editor
Amelia Ballingall is a third-year speech language pathology and audiology major. She is sports editor for The News and previously served as deputy sports editor and deputy design editor. She is also vice president of membership development for Delta Phi Epsilon, the social media manager for Speech and Hearing Club and a Student Success Guide on campus. Amelia is looking forward to another great semester with The News!
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