Story by Peyton Doyle
Senior Day provided a prime example of what has haunted the Northeastern Huskies (26-25-1, 9-12 CAA) throughout the season.
Northeastern has scored less than five runs in 29 of its 52 games. The team has the fourth most errors in the conference, and despite having the best ERA in the CAA, the pitching staff has given up the fifth most home runs.
On Sunday afternoon, redshirt sophomore Sebastian Keane, who has struggled mightily with an ERA of over six on the season, gave up just one earned run in his three innings of work. Senior Owen Langan followed him up with three straight scoreless innings. Despite this, the Huskies fell 7-4 to the UNCW Seahawks (29-21, 13-8 CAA) in the final game of their weekend sweep in Boston.
In two of the games this series the Huskies either had a lead or a tie in the eighth inning or later and lost, forcing them into must win games next weekend at Delaware if they want to play in the CAA tournament.
The opening inning for Northeastern on Senior Day was one of confounding calls and misthrown baseballs. Two walks, an error, and a balk put the Huskies down two in the opening frame of an absolute scorcher at Friedman Diamond. Luckily for Northeastern, Keane was able to calm things down in the second and prevent his team’s deficit from growing.
With the momentum needle pointing slightly more in their favor, the Huskies bats came to life in the bottom of the second inning. Five singles, including four straight by the bottom four hitters in the lineup, plated three runs and gave Northeastern the lead. It was senior catcher Teddy Beaudet who struck the first real blow with a two RBI single in the inning, one of the many highlights of his Senior Day.
“Teddy had a huge hit for us,” said head coach Mike Glavine. “It was a hot day, and he worked his butt off behind the plate. I love to see him have success like he did today. He had the big hit, but man, he had some great stops behind the plate today with some tough pitches.”
Beuadet was not the only Husky senior to battle valiantly in the matchup. After Keane gave up two more runs, and consequently the lead, in the top half of the third inning, reliever Langan came into the game and had the best outing of his Northeastern career, pitching three and one third scoreless innings. Glavine talked about the selflessness of Langan postgame.
“The message [to Langan] was ‘Can you give us another one and can you give us another one?’” Glavine said. “You love guys like that and you don’t have enough of them. Guys like him just want to take the ball and pitch and aren’t worried about how much rest they have or all the things they could be worried about. He didn’t want to come out so I left him in and he gave us everything he had out there on the field today.”
Langan did just that: his pitching held off the Seahawks and allowed for junior Danny Crossen to tie the game for the Huskies in the fifth inning at four runs apiece.
Langan handed the ball off to redshirt sophomore closer Thomas Balboni in the seventh, who came in as a stopper with runners on the corners. Balboni got redshirt sophomore Ron Evas to pop up a bunt for the second out of the inning and wipe away redshirt senior Noah Bridges to get out of the jam.
The eighth, however, was not as kind to Balboni. Still working to keep the score tied with the Huskies’ offense slowing down, Balboni gave up a single to shortstop redshirt junior Taber Mongero then hit graduate student Ethan Baucom with a pitch before engaging in an eight-pitch at-bat with redshirt junior catcher Matt Suggs.
Suggs, the Seahawks’ home run leader, with 12 entering the afternoon, tattooed the eighth pitch of the at bat and sent it into the Huskies’ bullpen in left field, putting his team up by three in the eighth inning.
Following that blast, sophomore relievers Ethan Chenault and Hunter Hodges combined to throw two scoreless innings to shut down Northeastern, including three strikeouts in the ninth inning to complete the sweep.
The fourth straight conference loss put Northeastern at 9-12 in CAA play with just one series remaining in the season. The team’s final series will come at Delaware, where they need just one victory to sneak into the tournament. The Huskies currently sit as the last team in behind the Elon Phoenix, but have a chance to move up in the seeding with a sweep of the Blue Hens and some bad breaks for the Phoenix in the final weekend.
Glavine’s teams, however, are used to being in high pressure situations, and after the game, he noted that he would not let his team be dismayed by the weekend’s results.
“We need to just channel all the frustration and the anger into positivity and use it on the field and take care of business,” Glavine said.