Jackson Goodman/WRBB Sports File

In the rubber match of the series at Old Dominion, Northeastern hoped to head into their home opener on a high note, and take the series against the Monarchs after splitting Friday’s doubleheader. 

In a 17-run offensive clinic, the Huskies claimed the game and the series, securing another series win in a game marked by strong performances throughout the lineup. 

From the start, the Huskies’ bats were on fire. With a lined double by graduate first baseman Tyler MacGregor, and a single through the infield by junior center fielder Mike Sirota, graduate DH Alex Lane sailed a ball over the right field fence to put the Huskies up 3-0 in the first. 

Senior right-hander Wyatt Scotti got the start for Northeastern, and after a walk and a single was able to hold the Monarchs scoreless with a runner caught stealing third base by senior catcher Jimmy Sullivan.

The offense continued hammering away at Old Dominion in the second, started by Sullivan singling to right-center field. After walking sophomore shortstop Carmelo Musacchia, senior second baseman Luke Beckstein grounded a single up the infield to score Sullivan and send Musacchia to third. With MacGregor at the plate, a passed ball sent Musacchia home, and MacGregor was able to draw a walk. Sirota was then able to send Beckstein to third on a fielder’s choice, and Old Dominion went to the bullpen, relieving starting senior righty Brandon Pond with redshirt sophomore right-hander Kellen Davis. 

With Sirota on first and Beckstein on third, Lane came up to the plate and drove a single to left field, sending Beckstein home to put the score at 6-0. In the bottom of the second, the Monarchs hit two one-out singles to put runners on first and third, but Scotti kept them scoreless with back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning.

To start the next inning, the Monarchs marched out their third pitcher in as many innings, giving sophomore right-handed pitcher Steven Trone the ball to relieve Davis. Trone quickly ran into trouble, however, walking both sophomore third baseman Jack Goodman and Sullivan, before hitting Beckstein to load the bases. With that, the Monarchs went back to the bullpen again, hoping left-handed sophomore Ben Moore could turn their luck around. 

Their luck, however, was not turned around. Moore pitched two RBI walks to MacGregor and Sirota, and allowed Lane to get his third hit of the afternoon with a single that scored Beckstein and MacGregor. However, Moore was able to end the inning with a strikeout thrown to redshirt sophomore left fielder Harrison Feinberg. 

Scotti was able to keep the Monarchs at bay in the bottom of the third after hitting junior center fielder Steven Maier, forcing a 1-4-3 double play to put an end to the inning with the Monarchs still scoreless.

The start of the fourth came with the Monarchs’ fifth pitcher, right-handed freshman Nick Sulpizio. Junior right fielder Justin Bosland sent a fly ball to left field and was able to get a double after the Monarchs lost the ball in the sun. After Goodman sent him to third on a groundout, Musacchia sent Bosland home for the 11th run of the day for Northeastern. 

Scotti started to come into some trouble in the bottom of the fourth, leading off with a walk to senior DH Jake Ticer. An RBI double to the right-field corner hit by sophomore catcher Evan Holman gave the Monarchs their first run of the afternoon, and Holman came home on a single hit by freshman left fielder TJ Aiken. The momentum was then ended on a flyout hit by freshman second baseman Carter Sunderman, allowing Scotti to escape without further damage.

MacGregor led off the top of the fifth with a double to left field, and was able to capitalize on some battery mishaps, going to third on a wild pitch and scoring on a passed ball. Sirota sent a single through a gap in the right side of the infield, but his chance ended after he was caught stealing. A strikeout by Lane followed, and a flyout by Bosland closed the top of the inning. 

Junior righty Dennis Colleran came in to relieve Scotti in the bottom of the fifth, and pitched a clean 1-2-3 inning with a lineout, flyout, and pop out.

The Monarchs started off the sixth with a defensive change, swapping Holman at catcher with junior Jack Slater. Goodman was able to capitalize on a missed dive by Monarch junior center fielder Steven Meier for a triple, and scored on a wild pitch with Sullivan at the plate. Sullivan got on base on a fielding error by Edwards, which proved to be the last straw for Suplizio, who was replaced on the mound with right-handed junior Kyle Finn. 

Musacchia was the first batter faced by Finn, and he sent a double through a gap in left-center to the wall, sending Sullivan to third. Beckstein lobbed a single to right field to score Sullivan and put Musacchia at second, before Musacchia scored on a wild pitch. The momentum was killed with a strikeout by Sirota and a  6-4-3 double play hit into by Lane. 

Colleran struggled in the bottom of the sixth against a slew of pinch hitters. After a leadoff single by sophomore Jackson Tone, followed by walks to graduate student Hunter Cole and freshman third baseman Kenny Levari, junior Nick Mueller sent a triple down the right field line to clear the bases. The Monarchs then narrowed the lead to nine runs, with an RBI groundout hit by Sunderman.

With Finn still pitching, the Monarchs slotted Cole at first base, Tone at DH, and Mueller at left field to start the seventh inning. The Huskies were unable to get any offensive production out of Finn this time, batting into a groundout and two flyouts. 

The Monarchs’ bats were quiet after the stretch, too, with sophomore righty Charlie Walker on the mound for Northeastern pitching a walk and a strikeout with no hits in the bottom of the seventh.

Northeastern’s offense came back into action in the eighth with Monarchs freshman right-hander Ben Moyzan coming in to relieve Finn. Moyzan started the inning with a pitch to Sullivan’s elbow and a walk to Musacchia. Sullivan was then sent to third on a 5-4-3 double play hit by Beckstein. With two outs, MacGregor hit a single to right to score Sullivan for the Huskies’ 16th run of the afternoon, but a flyout by Lane ended the momentum. 

The bottom of the eighth was shaky for the Huskies’ bullpen, with Walker pitching a double and hitting Slater with a pitch before getting pulled for redshirt senior southpaw James Quinlivan with one out. During the pitching change, the Monarchs put pinch-hitting junior Maverick Stallings in to bat, who was able to draw a walk to load the bases. Edwards sent a single to left field to score two runners, and Stallings scored on a groundout hit by Meier to make the score 16-9.

The offense for the Huskies refused to slow down in the ninth inning, leading off with a line drive single hit to left field by Feinberg. After Bosland was hit by a pitch, Moyzan was relieved on the bump by redshirt sophomore southpaw Connor Schumann. Sullivan singled to center, sending Feinberg home and Bosland to second. Schumann, however, limited the damage with a flyout and a foul out to end the top of the ninth. 

The Monarchs were unable to close the gap in the bottom of the ninth. After a leadoff flyout by Tone, pinch-hitting freshman Rowan Masse was called out at first, and after a walk to Levari the game was closed on a groundout hit by senior pinch-hitter Jack Speights. 

The Huskies offense was dominant across the lineup, led by Lane continuing his hot offensive streak going with a home run to cap his 6 RBI afternoon and MacGregor hitting two doubles and drawing three walks. The Huskies were able to capitalize heavily on pitching mistakes by the Monarchs, drawing nine walks,four hit-by-pitches, and five free bases on wild pitches and passed balls altogether.

The Huskies return to Boston for the home opener at Friedman Diamond Tuesday, 2:30 p.m.. against Sacred Heart. WRBB will have full coverage of the game from Justin Diament and Amelia Ballingall on WRBBSports+.