BROOKLINE — Northeastern’s midweek matchups could not have been more different. In one game, the opponent was the newly ranked Boston College. In the other — the 2-12 Warriors.
Following their sound defeat of BC on Tuesday, the Huskies had another game against the Merrimack Warriors on Wednesday at Friedman Diamond.
Freshman Aiven Cabral started the game for the Huskies. Unlike his last start, which was a little bit shaky, Cabral got off to a hot beginning. He struck out the first two batters he faced and completed a 1-2-3 first inning with ease.
The offense was quick to give Cabral some run support. In the bottom of the second inning, freshman catcher Matt Brinker hit a fly ball into the limited left field foul territory, which was caught by a Warrior. However, sophomore outfielder Justin Bosland was quick to react, and tagged up from third to score the Huskies’ first run of the ballgame.
Redshirt sophomore Jack Thorbahn added an RBI through a sacrifice groundout, and the Huskies had quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
Cabral’s day was done after only two innings, but both were quality, making his final line three strikeouts, and no runs allowed whatsoever.
His reliever, redshirt junior Matt Downing, was not as sharp as Cabral. Downing only lasted a third of an inning, during which he gave up two hits and an earned run. Sophomore Brett Dunham came in to stop the bleeding, and succeeded in his endeavor. Dunham forced a groundout and a fly out to retire the side, limiting the Warriors’ damage to only a single run.
Holding Merrimack to a 2-1 deficit clearly inspired the offense to extend their lead. Freshman Cam Maldonado was walked, then immediately stole second base. Senior Spenser Smith drove him home with a single up the middle. The shortstop then stole second and third base, and scored on a passed ball to make it a 4-1 ballgame. Thorbahn tacked on another RBI in the bottom of the fourth, driving in Bosland with a double.
After falling behind 5-1, Merrimack tightened up their pitching, and did not allow the Huskies to score for the next two innings. Unfortunately for the Warriors, the bottom of the seventh inning saw senior Danny Crossen smack a single up the middle. He also immediately stole second base, and was driven in a few innings later by freshman Carmelo Musacchia’s single, to make it 6-1.
Merrimack got one back in the top of the eighth, when graduate student Mike Golankiewicz hit a sacrifice groundout to the left side, scoring senior Alex Haba, raising the score to 6-2.
The offense really exploded in the bottom of the eighth. Sophomore Luke Masiuk singled down the left field line, scoring Thorbahn and Brinker. Maldonado and Smith followed up the base hit with a pair of walks, loading up the bases. Crossen then walked as well, earning an RBI in the process. Sophomore Jack Doyle flied out to center field, but it was deep enough to allow Maldonado to tag up and score. Musacchia followed up with a single to right field, which scored Smith and gave the Huskies an 11-2 lead.
That score would hold, and the Huskies defeated the Warriors soundly in their second weekday game in as many days.
Northeastern will be back in action this weekend with a three-game series against Hartford. Peyton Doyle and Khalin Kapoor will be on the call for both games in Saturday’s doubleheader.