Jacob Oshinsky/WRBB Sports File

On Friday afternoon, the Huskies traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina, to start off their weekend series against the NC A&T Aggies with a doubleheader. Northeastern was fresh off a three-game sweep over Elon and carried positive momentum into the series, but stumbled in the back-to-back away games. After a crushing 13-5 defeat in the first matchup, the Huskies managed to stifle the Aggies’ offense but couldn’t get enough going and took the second loss 4-2 as North Carolina A&T clinched the series.

In game one, the Huskies came out strong at the top of the first with a two-run homer from Mike Sirota and a Tyler MacGregor solo shot to start off the four-hour contest.

But from then on, Northeastern struggled defensively, an uncharacteristic mark for the typically-consistent defensive team. The Huskies’ staff ceded seven earned runs, but Northeastern’s five errors in the field added up and the Aggies took advantage of the Huskies’ mistakes.

Northeastern dug deep into the bullpen, but no pitcher could make it through their stint on the mound without a hit, as North Carolina A&T racked up a whopping 19 for the game.

Despite the offensive strength of the Aggies’ lineup, the Huskies held their own for quite a while. The Huskies were leading 5-2 in the sixth after two more home runs from Cam Maldonado and MacGregor, but North Carolina A&T came roaring back.

Senior Camden Jackson started off the inning for the Aggies with a home run, prompting Northeastern to retire redshirt senior right-hander Jake Gigliotti. But the new pitcher, right-handed graduate student Cooper McGrath, didn’t fare any better. With runs from a wild pitch and a passed ball, North Carolina A&T tied the game. 

The Huskies rotated through five pitchers through the final two innings, but nobody could find their stride as the Aggies grabbed eight more runs to put the game out of reach. 

Meanwhile, North Carolina A&T held off the visitors with a couple 1-2-3 innings to close out the game, smothering Northeastern’s early momentum.

After a brief intermission — a chance for the Huskies to recollect themselves — the two teams returned to the field for their second game, playing into the night. 

This time, the Huskies found their footing defensively, but the Aggies came out with some A+ pitching, resulting in a low-scoring game. 

North Carolina A&T struck first with an RBI groundoutI and a run-scoring single and never lost their lead. Although Northeastern kept it a close game with a fielder’s choice run and a hit by pitch with the bases loaded, a pair of solo homers allowed the Aggies to keep their lead.

Northeastern was down 4-2 after the seventh and fought hard, using everything in their wheelhouse to get men on base. But with North Carolina A&T’s 14 strikeouts, 12 Husky runners were left stranded in the game.

At the forefront of that effort for the Aggies was Angel Ortiz, the junior righty who started the game and threw 100 pitches through six innings. Although he allowed six hits and two walks, he was able to get them out of nearly all of those situations with just one earned run and eight strikeouts. 

The Huskies used a much smaller pitching staff than in game one, only putting out starter Jack Bowery, reliever Dennis Colleran, and closer Jack Beauchesne. However, Beauchesne only came in for the final at bat, earning Northeastern the third out in the bottom of the eighth after Colleran struggled to secure it.

Northeastern freshman Chris Walsh made his first career start after coming in for sophomore Carmelo Musacchia in the previous game and was one of the most successful Huskies in game two with a hit, two walks, and a run.

Regardless, Northeastern couldn’t rally back and took their second loss of the day 4-2. Although it was a big improvement from the first game, they’ll still have a lot of work to do when they face the Aggies one more time Saturday at noon for the series finale.