The Huskies will rematch Charleston on Saturday at 1 PM, with a rematch against UNCW at 5 PM if they win the first game. Click here to hear Milton Posner and Jack Sinclair call the action live from Wilmington, North Carolina.
Photos by Sadie Parker
WILMINGTON, NC — Life comes at you fast, and perhaps no faster than in baseball.
Yesterday’s game saw the Huskies jump all over the Charleston Cougars, as they took a commanding six-run lead in the first inning behind a three-run bomb from Ben Malgeri.
On Friday night, the Huskies got a taste of their own bludgeoning, as they found themselves trailing 6–1 after two innings, again largely thanks to one consequential swing of the bat. The CAA-South-winning UNC Wilmington Seahawks threw haymakers at Husky starter Kyle Murphy from the jump.
“They just looked locked in. They jumped on us right away,” Northeastern head coach Mike Glavine said. “[Murphy] was a little bit up in the zone, couldn’t get his stuff down, they made him pay a little bit. But he made some good pitches too and they hit them.”
The Huskies only saving grace from the opening two innings came, unsurprisingly, off the bat of Jared Dupere. His opposite field solo home run — which moved him within one of the school’s single-season record — was the first sign of life for the Huskies.
Those signs were short lived, as the Seahawks loaded the bases in the top of the second, setting the table nicely for Cole Weiss. He changed the complexion of the entire tournament with one swing; a hard-hit fly ball that snuck over the fence for a grand slam, giving his side a 6–1 lead.
Murphy’s day was done after two innings. It wasn’t all bad, as he achieved five of his six outs via strikeout. But a plethora of line drives combined to produce his first subpar start in conference this season.
Glavine turned to his bullpen, who he noted had pitched well all season long. That pen allowed just two runs (one earned) over the final seven innings, and gave the Huskies a chance to make up the deficit.
But the Huskies couldn’t put themselves within striking distance as Seahawk starter Adam Smith limited traffic on the basepaths.
“We had good at-bats,” Glavine said. “Their pitching staff is good; they get a lot of strikeouts and a lot of walks. We just wanted to grind them out. We lined out a fair amount too, so I thought offensively we were close.”
He added, “I think the turning point was the seventh inning. It was an 8–4 game and we had bases loaded with one out, Malgeri with a chance to change the game there, and that was one of our [four] strikeouts. We didn’t put up a lot of runs, but it wasn’t through a lack of grinding or doing what we usually do.”
Glavine confirmed that Sebastian Keane will start tomorrow’s game against Charleston, with Wyatt Scotti starting the UNCW rematch should the Huskies beat Charleston. He also noted that, save for Murphy and Cam Schlittler, every Husky pitcher would be available. With a loss to their name already, the Huskies must win both games tomorrow, plus another on Sunday, to win the conference crown.
“There’s no reason we don’t have the pitching to make this happen tomorrow,” he said bluntly. “We’re ready for this, we’re built for it, we’ve done it all year long. If anyone in this tournament can do it, it’s us. So there’s no excuses.”