By: Alexander Tsipis
On Friday, the Huskies began a four-game series against the University of Missouri Tigers at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers. Led by 2017 freshman All-American Kameron Misner, the Tigers boast one of the most powerful lineups in the country (9.3 runs per game). The Huskies sent senior right hander Brian Christian to the mound in game one. The Tigers jumped on him early after a two-out double plated two in the first. But, Christian kept the Huskies in the game, allowing three runs on four hits in four innings of work while also tallying three strikeouts. Andrew Misiaszek threw three scoreless innings in relief for Northeastern before Mizzou was able to collect three, two-out hits in the bottom of the 8th, adding two late insurance runs. Across the diamond, Mizzou started Bryce Montes De Oca, a 6-foot-7 redshirt junior right hander who tops out at 99 mph. He kept the Huskies at bay, going 6 1/3 innings allowing four hits and a run while striking out eight as the Tigers beat the Huskies, 5-2.
Saturday featured a doubleheader between the Huskies and Tigers. Northeastern jumped out to an early 3-0 lead thanks to a pair of first inning doubles by senior shortstop Max Burt and junior infielder Ryan Solomon. The Tigers answered with a run in each of the next two innings. Huskies starting pitcher Tyler Brown was brilliant on the mound, allowing just those runs (one earned) before settling in and throwing six masterful innings. Huskies head coach Mike Glavine decided to go to the bullpen after a 6th inning home run by junior Jake Farrell gave the Huskies a 4-2 lead. Mizzou stormed back by putting a five-spot on the board in the bottom of the 7th, but the Huskies answered right back with three of their own in the top of the 8th. The Tigers scored one more in their half of the inning when an aggressive takeout slide broke up what would have been an inning ending double play. Two quick outs in the top of the 9th left the Huskies trailing 8-6 and down to their final strike when sophomore Kyle Peterson walked, sparking a Huskies rally. Junior Mason Koppens slapped a two-strike single through the left side and junior Charlie McConnell doubled down the left field line, securing a 10-8 comeback Huskies win. This was the program’s first victory over an SEC school.
Game three of the series, however, did not go the Huskies way as Mizzou was able to split the twin bill, 20-1. While junior 3B/RHP Brian Sharp shined on the mound Wednesday to get a victory against 24th ranked Miami, it was his bat that made headlines on Saturday night. Sharp set a school record with nine RBI as a result of going 5-5 with two home runs and a triple. Mizzou collected 20 hits, six of which were for extra bases, against five different Huskies pitchers.
The finale of the series was Sunday morning. The Huskies jumped on Mizzou starter Andy Toelken in the first inning after lead-off hitter Charlie McConnell reached on a base hit before stealing second and third. He scored on a Jake Farrell single, beating the shift by three feet. A Ryan Solomon two-run home run gave the Huskies a 4-1 lead in the fourth, which was plenty of support for sophomore starting pitcher Sean Mellen. Mellen was masterful, throwing seven innings while allowing just one run. The Huskies return to action on Friday back down in Florida when they begin the “Snowbird Classic.” They will take on Presbyterian, Dartmouth, Villanova and Georgetown over the course of five days. The Huskies finish their spring “break” trip with a weekend series against Auburn.