Baseball team returns home with .500

Baseball team returns home with .500

Strong pitching and timely hitting wasn’t enough for Northeastern’s baseball team as it dropped two of its first three Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) games to rival Georgia State, as well as a close loss to nationally top-ranked Georgia Tech during the team’s southern road-trip March 7 to March 12.

The Huskies (4-4, 1-2 CAA) lost their first ever CAA game, 2-1, on March 10 against the GSU Panthers (8-7, 2-1 CAA). Junior pitcher Dave Pellegrine took the loss despite a stellar performance, pitching a complete game and allowing just two runs. The Huskies would avenge that loss a day later, beating the Panthers 5-2. Sophomore Kris Dabrow- iecki earned the win, going eight strong innings and limiting the Panthers to only two runs.

Senior catcher Matt Morizio delivered the win for the Huskies with a two-run single through the right side in the ninth to make the game 4-2. The Huskies later added an insurance run and redshirt freshman Trevor Smith nailed down the win with the first save of his Northeastern career.

“At that point, the infield was in,” Morizio said. “I just tried to hit the ball hard somewhere and hopefully something good will happen.”

The Huskies dropped the rubber match, 11-10, the following day, allowing two runs to the Panthers in the bottom of the ninth to blow a 10-9 lead. The two losses put the Huskies in a tough position to start the season.

“We are disappointed that we didn’t get two wins out of the [Georgia] State series,” coach Neil McPhee said. “We lost a game against a team we feel we need to beat to make the conference tournament. Just winning will make it up.”

The Huskies lost a close game to No. 1 Georgia Tech 2-1 in Atlanta, Ga. on March 7. Junior Adam Ottavino took a no-hitter into the seventh, but failed to hold the lead giving up a two-run homer to the Yellow Jackets’ senior left-fielder Steven Blackwood.

“I was pretty much locked in and I felt I could throw any pitch at any time,” Ottavino said.

The southern swing proved that a successful season will rely on the arms of its top starters.

“All three of our rotation pitchers [Ottavino, Pellegrine and Drabrowiecki] all performed well on this trip,” McPhee said. “I think that right now, all of our pitchers can feel very confident in pitching the way they have.”

Despite the rough start, McPhee is confident his Huskies will pick up speed.

“After our weekend on the southern trip, we feel that just by evaluating our team we are confident that we can compete against any team in the Colonial,” McPhee said. “We won’t get a good read on the conference until we’ve gotten into the season.”

The Huskies also faced Indiana-Purdue in an 8-3 loss, and got wins over Mount St. Mary’s (14-3) and Bowling Green (Ohio) (12-6), bringing their season record to 4-4, 1-2 CAA. They face Massachusetts today at 3 p.m. at Friedman Diamond in Brookline.

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