BROOKLINE — When the Huskies defeated Stonehill on Wednesday after a tough Beanpot loss, it took the bitter taste out of their mouths. But in a difficult contest against the visiting Delaware Blue Hens Friday afternoon, Northeastern’s momentum slipped away yet again with a 10-3 loss.
Continuing a lengthy homestand, the matchup was the first of a three-game weekend series against CAA rival Delaware, and it did not set the tone well for the home team.
“They were better than us today, and we weren’t as competitive as I would have liked,” said head coach Mike Glavine.
Wyatt Scotti started on the mound for the Huskies, but his tenure was a shaky one. In his four innings pitching, the junior right-hander let through four runs and took his first loss of the season.
In the top of the first, Delaware came on strong. With redshirt senior JJ Freeman on second base, fellow redshirt senior Dan Covino hit an RBI double to get the Blue Hens on the board first. Covino then scored off a single from redshirt junior Josearmando Diaz.
The Huskies quickly answered. Junior pitcher Bryce Greenly, a strong two-way player for Delaware, allowed the Huskies to score twice in his first inning on the mound. Sophomore center fielder — and Northeastern’s leadoff hitter — Mike Sirota scored in his first trip around the bases. He was quickly followed by a single from freshman Cam Maldonado that evened the score at 2-2 at the end of the first.
After Scotti notched a scoreless third, Northeastern edged ahead. A wild pitch from Greenly with the bases loaded scored MacGregor from third, giving the Huskies a 3-2 lead.
The second the third inning ended, the Blue Hens tightened both their defensive and offensive ends to deny the Huskies another run for the rest of the game.
“I thought, offensively, we looked good in the first three innings, and we had a chance to score a bunch of runs and we didn’t. Then we just couldn’t get anything going from there,” Glavine said.
Meanwhile, Delaware tallied score after score, slowly inching its way above Northeastern to become insurmountable by the end of the game.
Down one run heading into the fourth, the Blue Hens were confident they could make up some space. After knocking a single early in the inning, sophomore Andrew Amato was able to break the tie when junior Aidan Kane hit the sole home run of the game, adding two runs to Delaware’s toll.
The fifth inning found the Huskies down two tallies, just like they’d been before, but this time, they couldn’t make up the difference. Graduate student pitcher Patrick Harrington, a transfer from Assumption, came in to relieve Scotti, but it didn’t give the defense any less work. Sophomore Joey Loynd sent Greenly home with a single, then scored himself off a single from Andrew Amato. Delaware was able to put a runner third base, looking dangerous in an effort to score another run, but Kane’s tap flew to Smith at shortstop and sent him back to the bench for Delaware’s third out.
After wavering heading into the sixth, Harrington was swapped out mid-inning in favor of sophomore right-hander Brett Dunham.
Dunham also struggled in his start on the mound, allowing Delaware to load the bases, but came in clutch on the Blue Hens’ final batting attempt to strike out Jake Dunion.
At the bottom of the inning, the visiting team made its sole pitching change of the day; redshirt sophomore left-handed pitcher Eli Atiya stepped on the mound in place of a tiring Greenly, and made quick work of the Huskies.
Atiya held the Huskies to just two singles through his four innings of work, needing just 55 pitches to close out the game. While he held off the Northeastern batters, Delaware continued to extend their lead.
Northeastern continued to rotate through its pitching lineup, playing redshirt senior Nick Davis and sophomore Jack Beauschene, but to no avail.
“Their bullpen guys came in and just attacked us, and we came in out of the bullpen not really throwing strikes,” Glavine said.
As the last two innings wound down, infielder Carmelo Musacchia and outfielder Harrison Feinberg shined on defense, made some astounding catches to limit the Blue Hens’ scoring chances, but the away team continued to inch ahead.
In the top of the eighth, Delaware increased their lead to 8-3 with another RBI single from Diaz, who finished the game getting on base six times. The Blue Hens’ final tallies came from Loynd, a huge star of the game with four RBIs that afternoon. Although Loynd’s hit was only a single, it scored both Covino and Freeman.
“We weren’t competitive after the third inning and they just kept pouring it on,” Glavine said.
Northeastern will have to make a major turnaround over the weekend, as they still have two more battles in their fight with Delaware. Saturday’s contest starts at Friedman Diamond at 1 p.m.