Jackson Goodman/WRBB Sports File

ATLANTA — Northeastern entered Atlanta looking to close out their trip to Georgia with a win over Georgia Tech in a repeatedly-delayed weekday game, after claiming the weekend series against Mercer in Sunday’s doubleheader sweep. 

But winning wasn’t all they did at Mac Nease Park on Wednesday – the Huskies completely shut down the Yellow Jackets, scoring seven runs in a game they dominated on all sides of the ball.

After a leadoff double by senior second baseman Luke Beckstein, graduate first baseman Tyler MacGregor stepped up to the plate. He then, according to head coach Mike Glavine, “absolutely crushed” his first home run to right-center, and “woke the team up right away,” giving Northeastern an early 2-0 lead. 

Redshirt senior Jake Gigliotti got the start on the mound, allowing one hit in the inning to Georgia Tech senior second baseman Mike Becchetti on a hard-hit single that bounced off of third baseman Jack Doyle’s glove. 

The second inning continued the scoring for the Huskies. With one out and sophomore shortstop Carmelo Musacchia on first, Georgia Tech pitcher Carson Ballard overthrew a pickoff attempt, letting Musacchia advance to third. Then, in the same at-bat, Musacchia scored on senior catcher Gregory Bozzo’s sacrifice fly. 

Gigliotti’s pitching showed some command struggles in the bottom of the second, but a spectacular diving catch in right field by Beckstein to get the first out helped limit the damage that the Yellow Jackets’ lineup could do.

Northeastern’s offensive dominance continued in the third inning, led off by a single grounded through the middle of the infield by MacGregor. Center fielder Mike Sirota then hit into a fielder’s choice, but a fielding error by Yellow Jackets freshman third baseman Ryan Jaros allowed for MacGregor to advance to second. A single to left field by DH Alex Lane sent MacGregor home, and Sirota to second. 

The bottom of the third started off with an extravagant diving catch by sophomore right fielder Cam Maldonado. However, Gigliotti soon ran into trouble and loaded the bases on a single by Becchetti that the pitcher deflected, a double to senior first baseman Cam Jones, and a two-out walk to senior left fielder Trey Yunger. However, he was able to strand all three on base thanks to a flyout by senior DH Matthew Ellis. 

The Huskies’ offense started to slow down in the fourth inning, and they were only able to muster a two-out single from Beckstein before a groundout by MacGregor ended the inning. Gigliotti’s struggles were gone in the bottom of the fourth, as he struck out two batters to start the inning and forced a fielder’s choice to end it after walking sophomore right fielder Parker Brosius. 

The Yellow Jackets started the fifth by replacing Jaros at third base with freshman Carson Kerce. Sirota led off the inning with a double to left field, and after throwing two balls to Lane, the Yellow Jackets replaced Ballard on the mound with Czech freshman righty Michal Kovala. 

Kovala quickly loaded the bases with a walk to Lane, a sacrifice bunt by Doyle to advance both runners, and an intentional walk to junior left fielder Justin Bosland. He then stranded everyone on base with a strikeout to Musacchia and a groundout by Bozzo. Gigliotti closed out his solid outing in the bottom of the frame, pitching a 1-2-3 inning on a groundout and lineout to third, and a flyout to left field. 

The Huskies’ bats came alive again in the top of the sixth, with Beckstein starting the rally with a one-out single to center field. Four pitches later, MacGregor hit his second two-run moonshot of the game to right-center field, putting Northeastern up 6-0. 

A two-out walk to Lane and a double hit by Doyle to send the DH home proved to be the end of the afternoon for Kovala, and he was replaced on the mound with redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher Riley Stanford, who forced a popout by Bosland to end the inning. 

Gigliotti was relieved by right-hander Michael Gemma to start the bottom of the sixth. The senior ran into a bit of trouble to start his outing, allowing a single to Yunger, a wild pitch that advanced Yunger to second, and a walk to Ellis. Gemma, however, was able to force a strikeout to pinch-hitting freshman Tyler Neises and a 6-4-3 double play to get out of the inning. 

To start the seventh inning, the Yellow Jackets substituted Tyler Minnick to catch in place of Neises. Musacchia led off with a single to right field, but Bozzo grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to put Northeastern at two outs. In the next at-bat, Maldonado was hit by a pitch, and when Beckstein came to the plate, the right fielder was able to steal second. 

Afterward, Beckstein hit a single to center field, and Maldonado came home to score. He was unable to advance the lead after Yellow Jackets freshman center fielder Drew Burress managed to throw the ball home to tag him out. Gemma led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk to Brosius, but kept the Yellow Jackets at bay with two flyouts and a double play.

Georgia Tech junior right-handed pitcher Terry Busse came in to start the eighth against Northeastern, but after allowing two walks on eight pitches to Sirota and MacGregor, including a wild pitch that sent Sirota to second, he was pulled for right-handed pitcher Caden Gaudette. The redshirt freshman forced a double play and a foul out to stop the Huskies from putting together another offensive rally. 

McGrath came in to relieve Gemma in the bottom of the eighth for Northeastern, getting into some early trouble by walking Yunger and giving up a ground-rule double into the right-field visitors bullpen to Ellis. He was able to get out of it by striking out Minnick, and by forcing a flyout to pinch-hitter senior Bobby Zmarzlak, who came in for Kerce. 

Zmarzlak was replaced defensively at third base to start the ninth by sophomore Dimitri Diamant. After Bosland flied out to center, Musacchia hit a pop foul behind the third-base line, nearly causing a collision between Minnick and Gaudette to catch the ball. 

Redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher Jackson Gaspard came in to pitch the last out of the top of the ninth, and struck out Bozzo, who was called out at first on a dropped third strike. Junior right-handed pitcher Brett Dunham came in to close for the Huskies, and closed the game on a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. 

The dominant offensive performance of Northeastern’s lineup throughout the game helped propel them to the 7-0 win. Although the pitchers’ command at times was a bit shaky, and the Yellow Jackets had many opportunities to score, the Huskies’ pitching staff were able to blank them and shut down any offensive progress they made throughout the game, with coach Glavine saying that they “pitched awesome,” and that Gigliotti was able to “give what [was] needed” in his five-inning shutout start. 

Northeastern heads to Norfolk, Virginia, this weekend for a series against Old Dominion. Stay tuned for WRBB’s written coverage.