Baseball: Bats missing for Huskies

Baseball: Bats missing for Huskies

Northeastern took one giant leap forward over the weekend, and one giant leap in the opposite direction yesterday at Friedman Diamond.

The Huskies (9-8, 4-2 Colonial Athletic Association) lost to non-conference opponent Marist 5-2, ending a three-game winning streak. Senior second baseman Brian Nutting went 2-4, including a solo home-run in the fifth inning to bring the Huskies within two runs. However, the Huskies left nine men on base and committed four errors, allowing four unearned runs against the struggling Red Foxes (6-13, 1-2 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference). Freshman starting pitcher Trevor Smith took the loss despite giving up no earned runs in the outing.

“Obviously, we didn’t play as well as we should have,” Nutting said. “We gotta look toward tomorrow’s game and get back on track.”

It looked as if the Husky bats had woken up after Nutting’s shot over the right field wall in the fifth, his third of season.

“It was the first pitch of the at bat [that I hit the homerun], a fastball, and he did it to me on my first and second at bat,” Nutting said. “I was looking for it.”

The Red Foxes took advantage of multiple Husky miscues on defense to jump to a 3-0 lead in the fourth. The first came after Smith struck out Marist junior left fielder Adam Pernasilici on a pitch in the dirt, who then reached first on junior catcher Dan Milano’s overthrown ball to sophomore first baseman Josh Porter. Smith then walked the next batter, and then witnessed senior catcher Bryan Towler reach first on an error by Nutting.

“It should’ve been an easy double-play,” Nutting said. “But those things happen.”

Senior first baseman Kevin Grauer later singled up the middle to score two runs and give the Red Foxes a 2-0 lead.

The Huskies lost despite outhitting their opponent 10-5. On the season, the Huskies are batting .216 with runners in scoring position and .176 with the bases loaded.

“We’re more of a power team than a contact team,” head coach Neil McPhee said. “We need to get more consistency in the lineup. We’re big, we’re strong, we’re not a speed team and we’re relying on the big hit and the home-run, and we’re getting it.”

The Huskies headed into the game playing well, sweeping the CAA rival Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens on the road after falling to cross-town rival Boston College 10-1 on March 22 at Friedman Diamond. Senior catcher Matt Morizio was the lone bright spot for the Huskies, scoring the only run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Porter. Morizio was 2-4 in the loss.

Thanks to exceptional pitching performances, the Huskies’ luck changed in Newark, Del. against the Blue Hens (10-10, 0-6 CAA) on Friday. Junior Adam Ottavino got the road trip off to a great start, going eight solid innings and striking out 12 in a shutout against the Blue Hens. Ottavino became the seventh Husky to strikeout 200 in his career.

“Delaware is another one of those teams that we need to work around in order to put in position to make the conference tournament,” McPhee said.

Junior David Pellegrine picked up where Ottavino left off, scattering six hits over eight solid innings in a 5-2 win on March 28. The Huskies capped off the weekend sweep a day later, winning 11-0 behind eight strong innings from sophomore Kris Drabrowiecki on March 26. Porter and Milano homered for the Huskies.

The Husky starters posted solid weekend numbers, going 2-0 with a 0.38 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 24 innings against the Blue Hens.

“I think that our pitching can stop anybody right now,” McPhee said. “It has been our pitching well that has been our strength. For our pitching staff to give up one run in three games, that’s a phenomenal performance.”

The Huskies look to extend their winning streak at Rhode Island today behind sophomore pitcher Bobby Carrington. Their attention will then turn to a weekend series against conference rival UNC-Wilmington at Friedman Diamond.

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