Story by Jack Sinclair
The Northeastern baseball team entered the third game of their series against North Carolina State having already accomplished their goal: win a series against a top 10 ranked opponent. Any good result Sunday would merely be icing on the cake of one of Northeastern’s biggest weekends in history.
The Huskies, however, didn’t take their foot off the gas pedal. Jeff Costello led the game off with a massive home run off Wolfpack pitcher David Harrison to give Northeastern an immediate lead. Wyatt Scotti got the game going for the Huskies on the mound, and dazzled from start to finish. Scotti, in his second year with Northeastern, demonstrated excellent control and great execution as he strangled the Wolfpack’s potent offense with a one-two-three first inning.
The Huskies bats stayed hot in the second, as a series of base hits led to Mark Darakjy being on third. Sophomore Luke Beckstein seized the moment, and hit a long fly ball that gave Darakjy the time to tag up and double Northeastern’s advantage.
On the other side of the ball, Scotti stayed in his groove, pitching seven full innings of shutout baseball. Scotti kept one of the nations hottest hitters, NC State’s Tommy White, completely off the basepaths, as he forced two groundouts out of the power hitter.
The Huskies clearly thought that Tommy “Tanks” needed to be reminded how to hit home runs, so Corey DiLoreto graciously stepped up and gave him a demonstration, driving a solo blast over the fence to give Northeastern a 3-0 lead.
Northeastern came to town to host a hitting clinic, forcing Harrison to throw strikes and driving up his pitch count. Their strategy paid off, as the Wolfpack starter was chased out of the game after only four and a third innings. The Huskies smelled blood in the water, and when Wolfpack reliever, Baker Nelson took the mound, they attacked.
Mike Sirota immediately singled into left to extend his 10 game hitting streak, then advanced to second off of an overthrown pickoff attempt. Max Viera followed it up with a single to put runners on the corners, which set the stage for Darakjy to single and drive Sirota home. Nelson’s only out came off a fielder’s choice from a DiLoreto ball, but the Wolfpack had seen enough and yanked him.
Canaan Silver stepped in as relief, and Spenser Smith quickly introduced him to the Northeastern offense with a two-RBI infield single after White was caught sleeping at first. Silver settled in, and managed to end the inning before the Huskies could add a fourth run.
With a 6-0 lead in hand, the Huskies cruised to the end of the game. Eric Yost and Thomas Balboni were excellent in relief, and shutout the Wolfpack who were only able to tally five hits over the course of the entire game. Carson Kelly closed out the game for NC State with some solid pitching that kept the Huskies off the scoreboard.
The Huskies ended their three game series against NC State with a statement shutout, and carry loads of momentum into their home opener against UMass Amherst this Tuesday at 3 p.m.