Jacob Oshinsky/WRBB Sports File

Northeastern headed to Towson on Friday afternoon to kick off a three-game weekend series against the Tigers, who entered the day with a 7-20 record and near the basement of the CAA standings. Towson kept the game tight through the fifth inning, but when the Tigers’ pitching began to falter, the Huskies exploded, earning an 11-1 road win to set the tone for the weekend. 

Alex Lane kicked things off for the Huskies in the top of the first. It only made sense, as the star graduate student came into the afternoon with the ninth-best batting average in the country (.452) and the nation’s second-best RBI per game (1.79). Leadoff batter Luke Beckstein had earned a spot on the bases with a single, and after making his way to third, all he needed was Lane’s RBI double to bring him home. 

Towson earned their sole run of the game at the bottom of the inning, giving a three-hit performance against Huskies righty pitcher Jake Gigliotti. Despite outs in the first two at bats, the Tigers stayed alive with three singles in a row, the culminating move coming off the bat of redshirt junior Jordan Peyton. Although Towson still had runners on the corners, Northeastern didn’t falter, and the Huskies finished the inning without any further damage. 

Pitching on both sides locked down the next two innings, with groundouts marking the vast majority of outs in the frames, including a double play against Northeastern. 

Both starting pitchers filled their roles, with Gigliotti pitching five innings and Towson righty Andrew Luczak on the mound for 4.2. 

Gigliotti didn’t let through another run, and neither did either of his relievers, but Luczak allowed just one more in the top of the fourth. After watching the first two batters strike out swinging, Jack Goodman stepped up to the plate with a calm composure, channeling his energy into a solo homer to left field. 

With the Huskies now holding a 2-1 lead, Luczak started to stumble, hitting the next batter and subsequently allowing him to advance to third on a stolen base and a wild pitch. Although the inning ended shortly after that with a groundout from Northeastern catcher Gregory Bozzo, Luczak didn’t have much time to rest — Gigliotti pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fourth.

With runners on the corners and still pushing through the heart of Northeastern’s lineup, Towson decided to end Luczak’s day late in the fifth, bringing in sophomore righty Brandon Jung. 

Jung was the first of six more pitchers to come through the Tigers’ rotation that afternoon, as none of Towson’s relievers were able to last more than one inning. 

In the top of the sixth, the Huskies hit their stride, breaking open the game with a four-run inning. The first three batters didn’t even need a hit to land on the bases, as two walks and a hit-by-pitch gained them positions to start the inning. Jung was retired in favor of graduate student righty Jordan Luton, but the veteran didn’t do much better. His wild pitching earned Northeastern a walk to load the bases, and the Huskies didn’t quiet for the rest of the inning. 

Luke Beckstein was hit by a pitch, giving Northeastern an easy run and breaking the program record for most hits by pitch in a season with 18. With the bases still loaded, Tyler MacGregor’s single was able to drive two Huskies home and put Beckstein in scoring position. Lane then finished Beckstein’s trip around the bases with a single to left field, bringing Northeastern up to a 6-1 lead. 

In the bottom of the inning, Northeastern retired Gigliotti in favor of lefty Will Jones. Although he allowed three hits in his three innings, neither Jones nor sophomore righty closer Joseph Hauser let another run through, and the Huskies just kept growing their lead. 

With three walks early in the seventh, the Tigers hoped bringing in redshirt senior pitcher Tyler Russo would bring more control to the game. However, the lefty walked the next two batters, scoring Huskies Mike Sirota and Bozzo to bring Northeastern’s lead to 8-1. 

Pitching continued to be disastrous for the Tigers, as they walked a total 14 batters through the game, compared to none for Northeastern. After Doyle’s sac fly brought the Huskies’ runs up to nine in the top of the eighth, they pushed it into the double digits to finish off the day with Beckstein walking home and MacGregor scoring despite a double play. 

With a crushing deficit, Towson swapped out the bulk of their outfield, letting a few younger guys get some reps in in the waning moments of the game. 

Northeastern took the win 11-1, the landslide victory putting a good start to the weekend and advancing their impressive season-long record to 23-6 (6-1 CAA).  

Mike Sirota returned to the lineup after missing more than a week for injury, the five-hitter for the Huskies as Jack Goodman was slotted up to fourth. However, Sirota’s day was relatively quiet, getting no hits in his three at bats and being walked three times.  

MacGregor and Lane continued to shine for the Huskies, with three hits apiece for a combined 5 RBI. 

Northeastern remains in Towson for the next two days, next facing the Tigers Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.