Baseball: Late game runs save NU

Baseball: Late game runs save NU

By Erika Carrubba and Matt Foster

Freshman first baseman Mike Tamsin was 2-for-3 at plate with a home run and three RBI while senior shortstop Arman Sidhu scored three runs in Northeastern’s 11-4 rout of the non-conference opponent Holy Cross Crusaders on Tuesday in Worcester. The win boosted the Huskies record to 14-12 (8-4 CAA) and dropped the Crusaders to 12-14-1.

“Everything’s coming together and we’re starting to bat really well,” Sidhu said. “We’re going into a really big weekend [with three away games against conference leader Old Dominion] and it should be helpful to get some confidence.”

Freshman Mitch Duggins settled down after giving up two runs in the first and pitched six strong innings allowing only four runs, all earned, on five hits.

Sophomore leftfielder Mike Lyon put the Huskies on the board first with his lead-off homer in the sixth, his fifth of the year. After senior centerfielder Chris Emanuele grounded out to second, Sidhu singled sharply to right field and advanced to third on a Tamsin single. Senior designated hitter Doug Milano singled to left center to score Sidhu and tie the game 2-2. Milano finished the game 1-for-2 with two RBI.

Northeastern had a run explosion in the seventh, scoring five runs in the inning, three off junior Crusader relief pitcher Doug Beglane. Senior rightfielder Jeff Maher, freshman third baseman James Donaldson, Lyon, Sidhu and Emanuele each scored in the inning that featured four Husky hits. Sidhu has been a one man wrecking crew against the Crusaders this season, batting .500 with five runs scored and seven RBI.

“In the first game, I took it personally when they walked Emanuele on purpose to get to me,” Sidhu said. “It got me going a bit, ever since I’ve been trying to to keep my focus against Holy Cross and the best at-bat that I can. The season has really gotten better for me after that big first game against them.”

Tamsin went deep into the ninth, scoring Sidhu who had singled through the left side earlier in the inning. The home-run was the third of Tamsin’s freshman campaign and has caught the eye of his coaches.

Before facing Holy Cross Tuesday the Huskies faced off against CAA opponent James Madison in a three-game weekend series. Although they dropped two of the three games, Husky junior ace Adam Ottavino pitched a no-hitter Friday to give Northeastern the 2-0 win.

“Before the game, the ball was just coming out of my hand a little better than usual,” Ottavino said. “Other than that it was the same performance, I felt good, strong and confident.”

The junior walked three batters and struck out a career-high 14 in nine innings. It was his first career no-hitter and shutout. Ottavino’s feat was the eighth no-hitter in Northeastern history and the first since Greg Montalbano held Niagara hitless on March 20, 1999. It was NU’s first nine-inning no-hitter since Joe Killelea no-hit MIT on May 3, 1985.

“It was awesome playing behind him,” Sidhu said. “You tend to relax a little bit because he’s such a dominating pitcher, it’s a little unreal. There was not one ball that was hit hard all day.”

Sidhu hit a solo homerun over the left field wall in the first inning to give the Huskies the lead. In the sixth inning, Sidhu tripled to center field and was driven home by a single to right center off the bat of Morizio.

The Huskies didn’t have luck in the next two games as they were shutout 5-0 Saturday and lost 9-6 in the rubber game of the series.

Northeastern committed three errors in the game and weren’t able to give junior Dave Pellegrine any run support as the Dukes scored five unearned runs. Pellegrine pitched seven innings and allowed just four hits, walking four and striking out seven.

“I think we need to play more fundamental baseball,” Ottavino said. “We made some mistakes normally we wouldn’t make in the field, and we got a little comfortable and our bats got a little lazy.”

On Sunday, the Huskies lost the offensive battle as sophomore Kris Dabrowiecki and freshman Trevor Smith combined to give up nine runs on 12 hits and one error.

Despite the loss, the Huskies bats weren’t quiet Sunday. Emanuele and Sidhu hit back-to-back solo shots over the left field wall in the third inning that tied the game at 2-2. In the fourth, senior Brian Nutting hit his fourth homer of the season, a three-run blast to put NU up 5-2. But JMU put five runs on the board in the last three innings to get the win.

“We had a couple chances to extend the lead,” Ottavino said. “But that has been our main weakness, letting the other team back into the game. We didn’t finish off the team when we had a chance.”

The Huskies travel to Norfolk, Va., to take on CAA leader Old Dominion at 7 p.m.

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