Story by Khalin Kapoor
Photos by Sarah Olender
BROOKLINE, MA — On a tempestuous Friday afternoon, the Northeastern Huskies (17–6, 5–0 CAA) grinded out two tough wins against the Delaware Blue Hens (8–12, 4–6 CAA), winning game one 1–0 and game two 6–5.
With these wins, Northeastern remains undefeated in CAA play despite dealing with multiple long breaks between games over the past few weeks. The Huskies were powered by dominant pitching from starters Kyle Murphy and Wyatt Scotti and some clutch hitting from third baseman Danny Crossen.
In game 1, right fielder Jared Dupere ambushed Delaware starter Chris Ludman in the first inning, knocking home the game’s first run with an RBI double. It would turn out to be the only run scored in the entire game.
Murphy spun six scoreless innings in the winning effort, striking out seven and allowing only three hits. Brian Rodriguez then came in to fire two scoreless innings before Eric Yost notched the save in a dominant seven-pitch ninth inning.
“I thought our pitching was awesome in the first game,” Northeastern head coach Mike Glavine remarked. “Murphy, B-Rod, and Yost really made a difference.”
On the other side, Chris Ludman was the hard-luck loser, giving up just that one first-inning run in a complete-game effort. Ludman limited hard contact all game and induced constant ground ball outs, but was still outdueled by Murphy.
After getting shut out in game one, Delaware began game two with a leadoff triple by star right fielder Kyle Baker, who scored on center fielder Aidan Riley’s groundout. Northeastern starter Wyatt Scotti overcame the rocky start, finishing six innings and only allowing that one run. Scotti had some trouble on the basepaths throughout his start but managed to bear down and pitch himself out of multiple jams.
“Wyatt Scotti was awesome for us,” Glavine said. “He’s been awesome for us this year and he was again today.”
Delaware starter Dom Velazquez struck out nine over five innings, allowing just two earned runs and consistently limiting the damage. Getting hits with runners in scoring position proved to be a challenge for Northeastern against Velazquez and the Delaware bullpen, with the offense leaving 11 runners on base.
“We had so many chances to break it open and extend the lead,” Glavine noted. “But we didn’t and we let them hang around.”
The Husky offense battled back from the deficit in small-ball fashion, stringing together base hits and hitting two sacrifice flies. Going into the top of the eighth inning, Northeastern was winning 4–1 and it seemed that they were well on their way for another W considering how inept the Delaware offense had been up to that point. However, Delaware manufactured a surprising rally against Husky hurlers Owen Langan and Jake Gigliotti. Blue Hen hitters base-hit Northeastern to death in the inning, hitting five singles and taking two free passes to score four runs and take the lead.
“We weren’t disciplined today,” Glavine said. “We played well . . . in the tough conditions [but] they pushed as hard as they could.”
Down 5–4, Northeastern came to bat in the bottom of the eighth and started playing some more small ball against Delaware’s Derek Wakeley, loading the bases for Crossen with a single and a couple of walks. With two outs and in the biggest situation of the game, Crossen laced a base hit into left field, driving home two runs and taking back the lead for the Huskies, 6–5. Crossen’s huge hit was a welcome change in a game where Northeastern consistently had trouble driving runs in with runners in scoring position.
“Danny Crossen is as clutch of a player as I have ever coached,” Glavine said.
Eric Yost was called on to secure the save for the second time after throwing just seven pitches in game one. Yost allowed a double but struck out two and induced a groundout to shortstop Spenser Smith who made a spectacular play to end the game. Yost converted on two high-leverage save opportunities in one day, taking the pressure off the rest of Northeastern’s bullpen.
“I turned into more of a cheerleader in game two trying to keep the energy up,” Glavine noted. “I felt like we were a little tired.”
Friday’s doubleheader began a stretch of four games in two days for Northeastern. Saturday afternoon will be another twin bill, with stars Cam Schlittler and Sebastian Keane slated to start. Northeastern should hope to get as many innings as possible from both starters so as to still conserve their bullpen as much as possible. The Huskies will have to keep the intensity up on Saturday and will look to see their offense heat up going forward.
Milton Posner, Mike Puzzanghera, and Catherine Morrison will call both games for WRBB, with first pitches scheduled for 11 AM and 2 PM.