BROOKLINE, MA — When a team wins, and keeps winning, it can be extremely difficult to find areas to improve. But for the 23–6 Northeastern Huskies, who came into this weekend with a 13-game winning streak, improving comes naturally.
Northeastern and Hofstra met on the Friedman Diamond for the first of a four-game series. The Huskies entered the CAA matchup undefeated in conference play (11–0), while the Pride came in with a 6–9 record.
Cam Schlittler got things started for the Huskies on the mound. The right-handed freshman started strong, striking out three of his first six batters.
“You want to pitch ahead and force that hitter to be a little bit antsy,” he said. “[Cam] was really good at [getting] strike one today, it was after strike one where he struggled. Today was not his sharpest day late in counts.”
His struggles would not matter too much, as he had plenty of help. The Huskies jumped out to a 3–0 lead in the first inning, helped by a bizarre course of events which saw two runs score after a strikeout. Jared Dupere was the victim, but he reached safely thanks to the dropped third strike. A Danny Crossen double drove him home, rounding out the inning.
Hofstra starter Jack Jett settled down in the second, only to immediately struggle again in the third. Dupere was again the culprit, but instead of striking out, the stocky slugger smacked a home run over the right field wall, increasing his team’s lead to four. Max Viera stepped in next and followed suit, sending a high fly ball over the fence in left field.
It was a nice change of pace from the small-ball style of play the Huskies had shown earlier in the year.
“I felt all along that our power was coming,” Glavine said. “I’m not surprised that we hit some home runs today.”
The same tandem struck again in the fifth; Dupere stole second and Viera poked a double down the third base line to drive him in. The revolving door around the basepaths kept turning, as Crossen hit one through the gap to score Viera. Ben Malgieri followed suit, scoring Viera and inflating the Husky lead to eight.
Hofstra loaded up the bases with no outs in the fourth inning, but some clutch pitching from Schlittler induced a double play. Hofstra scored a run, but were massively limited in their options from there. It’s not like it would have mattered, as Schlittler struck out the next man up to retire the side.
Dupere continued to show no mercy to the baseball, as he hit his 13th home run of the year in the sixth, this time to the opposite field.
Glavine handed the ball over to Brian Rodriguez in the seventh. The reliever showed some cracks, but fought past a leadoff double to retire the top of the Pride order. The bottom half of the frame saw Jett exit and reliever Mike Mirando take over. Mirando struggled, just like Jett. He loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, allowing Jeff Costello to drive in a run. Mirando held the Huskies to just one run, and Henry Ennen took over for the Huskies.
Ennen went one-two-three through the top of the eighth, before allowing his team’s bats to take over. Dupere notched a leadoff single that saw him reach second base on an error. Corey DiLoreto stepped up to pinch hit and sent a long fly ball over the fence in right field, making the score 13–1.
Rick Burroni took the mound to close out the game, and just like Rodriguez, allowed a leadoff hit. The sidearm slinger maintained his composure, striking out the next batter before inducing a double play to end the game. The Huskies efforts paid off, as they came away with a 13–1 win and 16 hits to show for it.
The action continues with tomorrow’s doubleheader, with games at 11 AM and 2 PM Eastern time. Jack Sinclair and Adam Doucette will call both for WRBB.