Huskies Sweep Blue Hens to Stay Undefeated in Conference

Story by Milton Posner

Photos by Sadie Parker

BROOKLINE, MA — Saturday’s doubleheader was a showcase of just how many ways Northeastern can beat you.

In the first game it was about bunts, the running game, and elite pitching, as the Huskies eked out a 3–1 victory. In the second it was relentless and overwhelming downhill pressure — both from the mighty bat of Jared Dupere and the collective speed of the Huskies — that launched them to a 9–4 win.

The upshot? The Huskies moved to 19–6 on the season and 7–0 in conference play, and thus retained their status as the only undefeated team in either CAA division. The Delaware Blue Hens, who entered the weekend an even 4–4 in conference play, took a massive hit, as the Huskies smacked them around to the tune of four wins in 30 hours.

Northeastern head coach Mike Glavine noted that only consistent teamwide energy can earn that kind of sweep in such a condensed time frame.

“A lot of cheering and pushing for each other,” he explained. “The bench has to help, the bullpen has to help, the coaches have to give some energy to the guys because clearly they were tired, and so was Delaware. We talk about being mentally engaged; mental toughness is a real thing, especially playing four games in two days. We feel like if we can win that, we’re going to win games.”

The first game’s 3–1 score masks its true identity as a pitchers’ duel. Northeastern’s Cam Schlittler and Delaware’s Wyatt Nelson fought valiantly, with Schlittler tossing seven frames and Nelson six, each of them allowing just one earned run. Schlittler’s run came early, as Delaware left fielder Aidan Kane pulled a fastball into the right field seats in the second inning.

“Cam and Seb throw hard,” Glavine said, also noting game two starter Sebastian Keane, “so they are susceptible to the home run ball because guys will try to smash fastballs off them.”

Glavine also added that Schlittler and Keane hadn’t pitched in two weeks, and that they were still trying to regain their rhythm and stamina. But Schlittler settled in nicely after the homer, retiring 11 batters in a row between the third and sixth innings to wrap up a gem.

Nelson fared brilliantly in the early going. He deliberately and consistently disrupted Northeastern’s prodigious running game, holding the ball when necessary and firing countless competitive pickoff throws. And though it’s hard to argue that Northeastern consistently got the better of him — only one of the three runs he allowed was earned — the Huskies’ small ball started cooking in the middle innings.

It began in the fourth inning, when a Jeff Costello bunt single, a passed ball, a groundout, and an Ian Fair single evened the game at one run apiece. It continued in the sixth, when a Danny Crossen walk, a wild pitch, an errant pickoff throw, and a Costello single gave the Huskies their first lead. And it concluded in the seventh, when a Teddy Beaudet single, a Spenser Smith bunt single, a Ben Malgeri bunt single, and a Dupere groundout plated an insurance run.

Taken together: three runs on six singles (three of which were bunts), two errant pitches, two groundouts, a walk, and an error. And as if that weren’t enough proof of the Huskies’ small-ball skill, Malgeri’s seventh-inning bunt single came after another bunt single in the same at-bat, after which he was called back for stepping outside the batter’s box. So he just hopped back in the box and did it again.

It only took about ten minutes for everyone to realize that the second game would be won by different means.

Dupere, who turned heads on Tuesday with a 479-foot bomb over the auxiliary press box in right-field, took a 3-2 pitch from Delaware starter Mike Biasiello and launched it into the Charles River.

Thing is, Delaware’s non-conference schedule took place in two-game increments. For much of the year, they’ve gotten by with two effective starters and their bullpen. But with four-game conference series squished into three days (two in this case), they’ve had to deploy pitchers who aren’t used to starting.

Biasiello, who made his first start Saturday afternoon after six appearances out of the pen, was such a pitcher, and it showed. After Dupere’s two-run jack, Biasiello ceded another run, as Corey DiLoreto and Kyle Peterson each notched the first of their three hits on the day.

Biasiello’s struggles only amplified in the second when he hit Scott Holzwasser with one out. Not exactly out of the ordinary, as Holzwasser holds the program career record for beanballs. But when he quickly swiped second, Biasiello increasingly lost his composure, and with it, his command.

Unfortunately, the next batter to stand in was Max Viera, who was playing his first game in more than a month after recovering from injury. Biasiello lost control of a slider, which evaded Viera’s helmet, smashed into his left cheek, and forced him out of the game.

“It stinks,” Glavine lamented. “He’s been out for almost five weeks and gets a base hit in his first at-bat . . . He was cut, he’s going to need stitches, but hopefully that’s all it’s going to be. I checked in with him; he wasn’t concussed. I asked him how his teeth were and he said ‘fine.’”

Biasiello, by this point rattled for a few different reasons, quickly fired in a wild pitch that allowed the runners to advance to second and third. After intentionally walking Dupere (fair enough), he allowed singles to Crossen, DiLoreto, and Peterson, with a Costello RBI sac fly mixed in. By the time Biasiello gave way to Winston Allen, the Huskies had piled on four runs in the second and led 7–0.

It was a display of just how many ways the Huskies could pressure opposing pitchers, with their running game chief among them.

“We try to get jumps,” Glavine explained. “I know it looks like we’re dancing a little bit. When pitchers are quick to the plate we’ve got to change what we do. We don’t want to be one-dimensional. We’re hopping back and forth, and if we get the hop we keep on going.”

Dupere’s power in the third spot was certainly another factor, and he made that fact eminently clear to anyone who happened to be in the bathroom in the first inning.

It was at that point that the fans in attendance began wondering if the baseballs had somehow wronged Dupere in a past life. Or what the neighbors thought of being constantly pelted.

The teams scored offsetting runs in the seventh to bring the score to a final 9–4. Combine that with six solid innings from the hard-throwing, quick-working Keane, and the four-game sweep was a reminder of the team’s versatility and balance.

“You see that we can play tight games and win them, which is an incredible asset to have,” Glavine said. “We can come from behind like we did in game two [on Friday]. We can have big innings like we did today — power, speed. And we can pitch it. I think we’re an extremely talented team, I think we’re mentally tough, and I think we’re going to get on a roll here. Our best baseball is still ahead of us.”

Huskies Blow Away Delaware in Doubleheader Sweep

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.