Huskies Shut Out Bulldogs for Third Straight Win

Story by Catherine Morrison

Photos by Sadie Parker

BROOKLINE, MA — Northeastern (7–5) continued their winning streak on a chilly Tuesday afternoon against Bryant (2–7), scoring five and shutting out the Bulldogs.

The theme for the Huskies this season has been feast or famine. Northeastern will stack the runs early, then lose the lead in the bottom half with poor defense and a dearth of hits. Thankfully for the Huskies, Tuesday’s tilt was nothing of the like. 

Wyatt Scotti started for Northeastern and threw a solid three innings, giving up only three hits and one walk. After Scotti was pulled, Northeastern cycled through a new pitcher every inning or so against a lesser opponent. 

“The strategy was just to get some guys in who we hadn’t used in a little bit but they’re guys that we rely on,” Northeastern head coach Mike Glavine explained. “So you gotta think long term here . . . We gotta think about conference games coming up. Eventually we’re gonna have four game weekends so we’re gonna have to rely on a lot of pitchers.”

One such standout was Eric Yost, who threw the fifth and sixth innings. He only gave up one hit and had three of the Huskies four strikeouts.

Bryant followed Northeastern’s pitcher-cycling strategy but proved much less successful. Starting pitcher Luke Garofalo did okay in the first inning, but lost his way in the top of the second. He started off by walking Max Viera. The next batter, Jeff Costello, laid down a bunt and practically flew to first base, beating out the throw to put runners on first and second. 

Garofalo gave up two more hits to put Northeastern in the lead, 2–0, and was only saved when Teddy Beaudet was caught stealing to end the inning. 

Garofalo’s replacement, John MacDonald, looked wild in the bottom of the third. He threw hard but had trouble with his control, often throwing in the dirt or missing the catcher entirely to hit the backstop with a loud thunk. He was clearly thrown off his game and hesitated at the mound long enough to draw a pitch clock violation.

MacDonald inherited Scott Holzwasser on first base, who promptly stole second. MacDonald was clearly rattled and walked the next batter he faced, Ben Malgeri. Holzwasser advanced on a wild pitch and scored on the second out, a pop fly to right field. The inning ended when Malgeri was caught stealing. 

MacDonald settled down in the fourth inning with a strikeout, but found himself in trouble in the fifth. Holzwasser singled to right, sending MacDonald to the top of the lineup with one out. Malgeri did not disappoint and got a base hit, sending Holzwasser to second. This was the end of the line for MacDonald, who was replaced by Mike Randazzo.

Holzwasser and Malgeri continued Northeastern’s strategy of aggressive baserunning and stole third and second respectively. Ryan Cervone hit a sac fly to score Holzwasser and end the inning at 3–0. 

Northeastern scored a couple more sac fly runs in the fifth and seventh innings to continue their streak of small ball. 

“Offensively that might have been our best game of the year,” Glavine said. “Made some great plays out there, that was just some kind of timely hitting on offense . . . I thought it was a really clean game by us — hit really well, defended really well.”

Brian Rodriguez was tagged to close and did not disappoint, getting a quick one-two-three inning with one strikeout and two groundouts. On the last at bat Shane Kelly grounded out to shortstop, with Husky first baseman Ian Fair stretching to make an incredible catch of the shortstop’s throw.

Although Fair has struggled offensively this season, Glavine was impressed with his performance Tuesday. 

“Ian Fair is an amazing kid,” Glavine said. “I don’t think he’s ever had a bad day, he’s always just so positive and so he’s such a positive energetic guy around the team so he has that effect, he is a plus plus defender . . . He’s just too talented to not hit and he’s gonna change our lineup tremendously once he feels more comfortable in the box.”

Tuesday’s victory increased the Huskies’ winning streak to three ahead of a big series this weekend against Villanova. 

“The momentum was huge,” Glavine noted. “We want to start feeling good about ourselves and getting on a roll. Always want to play well at home and we’ve done that over the years and that’s a priority for us, so just want to build up our confidence and start to feel confident in all things we do.”

Olson Walks it Off Against River Hawks

Story and photos by Peyton Doyle

BROOKLINE, MA — A close game in any sport will cause palpable tension to form.

In baseball, each pitch could cause an eruption of joy or a sting of regret. There is no clock, the pitcher dictates the pace, and the hitter adjusts as best they can. In no other sport does the home team enjoy such an advantage in the drama of exhilaration and pain.

For the last pitch of the Northeastern Huskies’ (6–5) 2–1 win over the UMass Lowell River Hawks (1–8), it was Northeastern catcher JP Olson who commanded the hearts of the surrounding spectators. 

Lowell reliever Cam Seguin delivered his final pitch of the outing. He watched it leave the bat but was generally unconcerned as to where it was going. His and everyone else’s eyes were locked on Danny Crossen raring to go, one foot on the third-base bag. 

Olson’s fly ball fell into the glove of right fielder Vinnie Martin for an out that didn’t matter. As soon as it touched leather, Crossen’s cleats tore up turf, as he easily made it home ahead of the throw. 

Huskies roared from the dugout. The bullpen beyond left field leapt to their feet and charged toward their catcher, who was smiling like the Cheshire Cat after rounding first base.

Northeastern’s walk-off win was a cherry on top of the team’s first series win of the season. After a 10–7 loss and a 2–0 win on Friday, the Huskies rode Saturday’s win to move above .500 for the first time this season.

In the rubber match, Husky head coach Mike Glavine handed the ball to Cam Schlittler, who had the unfortunate assignment of following fellow redshirt freshman Sebastian Keane’s nine-inning shutout the day prior. Schlittler valiantly competed to match his teammate’s effort, allowing a single run in seven innings in his third start of the season.

“The two freshmen really need to feed off of each other, they are really good friends,” Glavine said. “I am seeing them compete with each other and that friendly competition is taking place. Those two guys are horses and we are going to need them all year long.”

Schlittler faced a few hiccups along the way, but stranded every runner he allowed on. The freshman had the River Hawks pounding the turf with grounders, and his infielders made plenty of plays to keep their opponents off the scoreboard. 

For every ball that found a Northeastern defender, Lowell junior righty Matt Draper countered, refusing to give in. Draper laid into the young Husky squad, not striking out many but generating tons of weak contact. He allowed just two hits over his first five innings.

Northeastern, however, loves to score, and even though it was a chilly day, the bats were bound to get hot. 

Husky designated hitter Ryan Cervone, another freshman, came to the plate in the bottom of the sixth still seeking his first hit of the season. For Draper and the River Hawks, Cervone may have appeared to be a pushover — until he ripped a double down the right-field line. 

When right fielder Jared Dupere walked, the Huskies were poised to get their bats awake and push some runners across the plate. But after Max Viera hit the perfect double-play ball to shortstop Keagan Calero, it was all up to Crossen. The sophomore hit a bouncer to third baseman Cedric Rose, but Rose was playing too far back to have a chance at the speedy Crossen. By the time the ball got to first, Cervone had scored the Huskies’ first run of the game and Crossen was steps beyond the bag.

“Ryan Cervone is a grinder and a kid who brings it every day in practice and will give you a tough at-bat every time he’s in there,” Glavine said. “We need our bench guys to have big years and Danny Crossen is the same mold. Of course we don’t want injuries, but both of those guys are making our team better for the long run.”

But as Robert Frost said, “nothing gold can stay” and the game did not remain easy for the Huskies following their run in the sixth. 

The first batter that Schlittler faced in the seventh, Joey Castellanos, lofted a ball to deep right that was corralled by Dupere but was by far the hardest-hit ball off Schlittler to that point. The next batter, Cam Climo, hammered one to deep center. Northeastern’s Ben Malgeri drifted back but the ball kept carrying, landing beyond the wall in dead center. 

Schlittler fanned two of the next three batters to end the inning, but the damage had been done. Lowell had new life and Schlittler’s day was done. 

The Huskies got men on again in the bottom of the seventh but left two stranded, and in the eighth were set down in order by Draper and Seguin.

Northeastern reliever Brian Rodriguez came in for a clean eighth inning and then handed the ball to Brandon Dufault for the ninth. Dufault faced pressure early on, as Martin ripped a line drive to left for a single. A bunt moved him over, and Glavine took advantage of the open base by intentionally walking Climo. Dufault defused the ticking time bomb, stranding the baserunners with a strikeout and a ground ball to end the inning.

“Brandon has been pitching well but has just had some tough luck this year,” Glavine said. “It has been a combination of everything for him, with some bad pitch calls, poor defensive plays, and he has gotten himself into trouble with some walks. He has struggled to put it all together, but I trust him.” 

Crossen started off the bottom of the ninth for the Huskies, slapping a ball between the second and first basemen. Kyle Peterson followed with a somewhat controversial hit-by-pitch, then Scott Holzwasser laid down a bunt to advance his teammates. With runners on second and third, Olson did all anyone could have asked of him: plate the run.

The Huskies will carry their two-game winning streak into a Tuesday afternoon matchup with Bryant.

Northeastern Splits Doubleheader Against UMass Lowell

By Catherine Morrison

The Northeastern Huskies (5–5) split a doubleheader with the UMass Lowell River Hawks (1–7) Friday afternoon at Parsons Field.

In the first game, Northeastern starter Kyle Murphy settled in, striking out eight and only allowing four hits and three earned runs. Murphy, who battled command issues in his previous start, breezed through six innings. Northeastern backed up Murphy offensively, scoring four runs in the fifth on top of three runs from the first four innings.

“The good thing is he’s been able to settle in some games and come back,” Northeastern head coach Mike Glavine said. “I think he was 90 to 94 today and stuff looked excellent. We’ve just got to find a way to be cleaner when he pitches. We’ve gotta limit the free bases . . . It seems to speed up on us a little bit, but he’s a calming presence out there which is big for us.”

UMass Lowell pitcher Collin Duffley, on the other hand, struggled with his command, allowing five runs (four earned) in four innings. He only struck out three and hit two.

His replacement, Sal Fusco, didn’t fare much better. Fusco came in with two batters on base, and promptly hit Corey DiLoreto in the head. DiLoreto looked shaken as he walked to first base and was looked at by an athletic trainer, then was replaced by Ryan Cervone. It was a huge loss, as DiLoreto is one of Northeastern’s main offensive producers.

Northeastern’s next batter, Scott Holzwasser, got revenge with a two-run double. Fusco was clearly rattled and gave up another run, threw a wild pitch, and hit another Northeastern player to make the score 7–3 Northeastern after five.

Northeastern has not had a problem this season tacking the runs on, but has struggled to pitch and field well enough to keep leads in the later innings. Friday afternoon was no different.

David Stiehl replaced Murphy in the seventh and quickly found himself in a jam with bases loaded and one out. Stiehl was clearly rattled and walked the next batter, making the score 7–4 Northeastern. He stuck out the next batter with six pitches, and looked as if he might be regaining his composure. The feeling didn’t last long, however, as the next batter homered to left field for a grand slam, sending the UMass Lowell dugout into wild cheers and giving the River Hawks an 8–7 lead. Owen Langdon replaced Stiehl to get the last out and give Northeastern a chance to regain the lead after a disastrous seventh inning.

Northeastern couldn’t recover however, and failed to get anything going in the last two innings. UMass Lowell added another two runs in the ninth, handing Northeastern a disappointing 10–7 defeat.

“The first game was just a really, really, tough loss,” Glavine said. “We just couldn’t put them away. We had an opportunity to extend the lead multiple times offensively and then we just didn’t do enough defensively and on the mound . . . We just gotta learn how to win these tight games.”

Northeastern has struggled to find its identity this season after COVID-19 shortened their last campaign, and this doubleheader was a prime example of that. Whereas the first game was a long, drawn-out slugfest, the second game was a short and sweet pitchers’ duel.

Freshman Sebastian Keane started for the Huskies. After some rocky starts this year, Keane was lights out Friday, pitching a shutout while allowing only two hits and zero walks. Keane worked quickly and efficiently, striking out nine and throwing only 102 pitches.

“I thought his fastball was awesome,” Glavine said. “He was throwing 93 in the ninth so I thought that was a big thing for him, the slider was a strikeout pitch as well. I thought he really commanded the strike zone with both pitches. I thought JP Olsen was outstanding behind the plate receiving Seb and did a great job. He really was just dominant today and hopefully he’s got many more of those ahead.”

Despite Keane’s incredible performance, Northeastern didn’t do much to back him up offensively. The only two runs came in the third inning. Freshman River Hawk hurler Zach Fortuna was already on shaky ground with his command, and started the inning by striking out Max Viera. He then walked Jared Dupere, who advanced to second on a wild pitch. In keeping with Northeastern’s aggressive base stealing policy, Dupere then stole third. The aggressive baserunning was for nought, as Fortuna walked Holzwasser and then advanced him to second when he hit the next batter.

Clearly spent, Fortuna was replaced by Miles Cota, who walked his first batter to give Northeastern their first run. Cota was saved by his fielders when the next batter, Danny Crossen flied out to left field. The third baseman threw to second for the third out after Dupere ran home to make the score 2–0 Northeastern. 

“When we talk about the offense, it’s whatever it takes,” Glavine said. “Some days it’s going to take ten, some days it’s going to take two, and a lot of the times the two is much harder than the ten. That means somebody’s pitching really well or we’re shorthanded or things just aren’t going our way . . . In game two we’re just scrapping and clawing and got some free bases and walks and stole some bases and got a bunt down and just fighting to find those runs.”

After a shaky third, Cota settled in and pitched a stellar five innings without giving up another run.

Northeastern battled through two very different games to split the doubleheader against the Seahawks, exemplifying the struggles they’ve had early into the season. 

“We are searching for answers a little bit here and right now we’re just a poorly coached team and not doing enough things well,” Glavine admitted. “We just have to find a way to get better. We gotta start believing we can win.”

Northeastern will look to win the series tomorrow against UMass Lowell at 1 PM.