Baseball: Northeastern starts season with 4-4 mark

Baseball: Northeastern starts season with 4-4 mark

The baseball team broke even on its opening road trip, playing five games in Florida before opening conference play at Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) opponent William ‘ Mary this past weekend.

Despite losing the series to William ‘ Mary, manager Neil McPhee saw good things from his team in the opening week.

“The week was a very good week in many, many ways,” he said. “We found out an awful lot about a very young team.”

The Huskies opened their regular season March 3 with a double-header against Indiana-Purdue. Both teams took a game apiece, as Northeastern emerged with a 9-6 win in the opener before falling 9-8 in the second game.

Game one saw junior pitcher Kris Dabrowiecki toss six strong innings, scattering three hits while striking out eight and allowing only one unearned run.

Sophomore third baseman James Donaldson put the Huskies on the board with a two-out, two-run double to right center in the second inning.

Redshirt freshman center fielder David Gustafson broke a 6-6 tie in the third inning with his first collegiate home run, a three-run shot to give the Huskies a 9-6 lead, which they would hold on to.

Junior pitcher Jeff Thomson picked up the win, hurling 1.2 scoreless innings of relief.

The second end of the double-header saw the Huskies trail for most of the game, before erupting for seven runs in the seventh, highlighted by a three-run home run by junior first basemen and tri-captain Josh Porter, giving the Huskies a 7-6 lead.

Redshirt freshman infielder Brendan Stokes followed Porter’s home run with a blast of his own two batters later, giving NU an 8-6 advantage. But the Huskies couldn’t hold on, as sophomore Dan Zehr (0-1) gave up five runs (one earned) to give the Mastadons a 9-8 victory.

The following three games saw the Huskies rout Georgetown, 13-1, and squeak by Bowling Green, 3-2, before falling to the University of Central Florida, 5-2.

Sophomore Trevor Smith pitched six strong innings against Georgetown, allowing only four hits while punching out nine and giving up one unearned run.

Right fielder Anthony DiCesare, a redshirt freshman, went 3-4 with four RBI. Junior shortstop Mike Lyon slammed two home runs and knocked in three.

Against Bowling Green, Thomson pitched eight strong innings, giving up one run while striking out three and allowing four hits. For the week, Thomson went 2-0 with a sparkling 0.93 ERA, earning CAA Co-Pitcher of the Week Honors.

Donaldson drove in two runs with a first inning double, and freshman pitcher Ryan Quigley picked up his first career save.

Freshman Sheldon McDonald pitched well against UCF, allowing three runs while striking out five through six innings. But UCF starting pitcher Brett Bordwine hushed the Husky offense, striking out 14 in 6.2 shutout innings.

The Huskies finally got on the board when sophomore catcher Frank Pesanello blasted a two-run home run in the ninth, his first career hit in the black and red.

Northeastern opened its CAA portion of the schedule with a three-game set against William ‘ Mary in Richmond this past weekend.

Game one saw the Huskies pound out 14 hits en route to a 10-5 victory. Dabrowiecki picked up his first win of the season, allowing four unearned runs in seven innings. Seven players had two hits for the Huskies, led by Lyon and Gustafson, who drove in two runs apiece.

The Huskies couldn’t carry any momentum into the second game, losing 10-6.

Smith took the mound for Northeastern and after a brilliant first start, was roughed up by the Tribe to the tune of nine hits and six earned runs in five innings of work.

Donaldson went 3-3 with an RBI for the Huskies and senior catcher and tri-captain Dan Milano gunned down three would-be base stealers, and has thrown out 53 percent (8-15) opposing players trying to steal so far this season.

Freshman left fielder Frank Compagnone had an RBI double, while Lyon had a pair of singles and an RBI.

The Huskies were unable to take the rubber game of the series, dropping it 9-3. Thomson started and pitched seven innings for the Huskies, giving up four runs while striking out five.

Donaldson once again paced the Husky offense, going 3-4 with three doubles and driving in his team-leading 10th run, matching his season total from last year in only nine games. After hitting .186 his freshman year, Donaldson is currently batting a torrid .483 (14-29) to open the season, placing him second in the CAA in batting average.

This past week provided positive answers to many questions the Huskies had regarding their pitching staff and position play McPhee said.

“[William ‘ Mary] is as good a hitting team as I’ve seen in quite a while, and I tip my hat to them,” he said.

The Huskies’ first home game against Central Connecticut was postponed due to poor field conditions, delaying Northeastern’s debut at Friedman Diamond to this Friday at 2 p.m., when George Mason will arrive for a three-game slate.

Leave a Reply