Jacob Oshinsky/WRBB Sports

BROOKLINE — Northeastern began their weekend series against the University of Rhode Island with a bang, hanging 15 runs on the Rams and dominating them up and down the stat sheet. The Huskies tallied 18 hits, nine walks, and three home runs on the afternoon, earning their fifth straight win and eighth in their last nine games in a 15-4 rout at Friedman Diamond.

After URI briefly led 1-0 after the top of the first thanks to a Michael Anderson home run off Northeastern starter Jake Gigliotti, the Huskies watched Rams starter Connor Grotyohann begin his afternoon with 11 straight balls in the bottom of the inning and claimed a 5-1 lead they would never relinquish. Third baseman Jack Goodman capped the inning with a three run home run. This would only be the beginning of a masterful day for the sophomore. 

Northeastern and Rhode Island chipped away with a few more runs over the following two innings, but the Huskies broke the game wide open in the fourth inning, scoring seven runs to take a 14-2 lead. This included doubles from Goodman and Mussachia, as well as a home run from Alex Lane, who finished the game with his OPS north of 1.400 after a 4-for-6 day at the plate with six RBI. 

In the top of the fifth, things got dicey for Gigliotti, who surrendered two two-out runs and had the Rams threatening to add more with runners on the corners. The Husky right hander finally managed to get out of the inning without any further damage, but not without lifting his pitch count over 100 on a cold, rainy day. 

“I thought Gigliotti was very good,” said Northeastern head coach Mike Glavine. “He wasn’t sharp fully, but it was a hard day to pitch. His misses were small, so I thought he gave us a great start….He tugged some breaking balls into his glove side into the other batter’s box, but I think his fastballs are right around the plate and he mixes pitches well.” 

The fifth and sixth innings were mostly uneventful for the Northeastern bats, but Goodman chipped in a single during the fifth, putting himself just a triple shy of the cycle. In the sixth, his stellar play continued, diving to catch a line drive up the third base line and tapping the third base bag with his glove while on the ground to complete a double play. This highlight reel catch saved three runs, as URI had the bases juiced due to three Husky errors in the inning and Goodman’s unassisted double play ended the frame. 

As the innings went by, Northeastern’s batsmen continued to find success against a variety of URI pitchers, batting .450 as a team. Among the best performances were the aforementioned Lane and Goodman, as well as catcher Gregory Bozzo, who broke a slump with a 3-for-5 day with a home run, and center fielder Mike Sirota, who walked four times on the afternoon. When it was all said and done, 10 Huskies had been on base and eight had done so multiple times. 

“I thought we were really good all the way through the lineup, which was really great to see,” Glavine said. “We’ve been uneven offensively; Lane, [Tyler] MacGregor, and [Luke] Beckstein have been carrying us. And all of a sudden, here comes Sirota, here comes Goodman, Bozzo gets going, Maldonado gets going this week, Melo Mussachia is close — he’s the next guy. So the lineup becomes not just a three, four man lineup, now it’s becoming a seven, eight, nine man lineup. We’re really tough to pitch to.” 

In the seventh, Goodman returned to the plate a triple shy of the cycle. He completed the job with a ball that snuck up the middle and into the right center field gap, motoring into third base just ahead of the throw. The transfer from Pepperdine follows in the footsteps of Northeastern right fielder Cam Maldonado, who also had a cycle in his debut season in Brookline last year. He would come around to score, giving Northeastern a 15-4 lead. 

“[Goodman] looks stronger, he looks physically healthy, his bat speed is excellent,” Glavine said. “The last couple days, he just missed a couple home runs, it just looked like he was really close, and today he put it all together. Great plays defensively, a diving catch, a popup he caught over the fence, and then obviously great at-bats. If he can keep this up, he’ll have a really strong year for us and be a huge part of our success.” 

The day wasn’t quite done yet for Goodman, who put the exclamation point on his afternoon with another sparking defensive play, making a leaping catch of a ball over the left field side wall in foul ground to put away URI second baseman Scott Penney. Timely defensive plays like Goodman’s two web gems and a play by Maldonado to double off a runner returning to first base on a flyout helped the Huskies bullpen complete four scoreless innings, including frames from Nick Coniglio, making his collegiate debut, and James Morice, who made his first appearance of the season. Northeastern closed out their 15-4 win on a strikeout by Morice. 

With the win, Northeastern improves to 11-4. They will face Rhode Island twice more this weekend in a Saturday doubleheader on the road before returning to Boston next week to face Boston College on Tuesday, and finally back home to Brookline to face Merrimack on Wednesday. WRBB will have the call for the latter game at 3 p.m.