Baseball: NU splits double-header with GMU

Baseball: NU splits double-header with GMU

Through the first 10 games of the season, the baseball team has split its time battling two foes: the opposing team and the bad weather.

The Huskies (5-5, 2-3 Colonial Athletic Association) were set to open their home portion of the schedule this weekend at Friedman Diamond with a three-game set against conference foe George Mason. Poor weather in Boston sent the series to Virginia, but rain forced the cancellation of Friday and Saturday’s games.

The Huskies and GMU were finally able to take the field Sunday, with the teams splitting a doubleheader and NU acting as the home team.

George Mason took the first game 6-2 in a seven-inning contest. Junior J.J. Pannell (4-1 4.67) pitched a complete game for the Patriots, holding NU to one earned run on six hits while striking out six. Sophomore Trevor Smith started for Northeastern and gave up seven hits, six runs and four walks in 5 2/3 innings of work. He fanned six.

The Patriots got on the board first in the third inning. Smith walked sophomore Brent Weiss and junior Chris Fournier, before sophomore Scott Krieger followed with his eighth home run of the year, tying him with teammate Justin Bour for the conference lead.

The Huskies struck back in the bottom of the inning, getting a pair of runs on a double by senior catcher and tri-captain Dan Milano and an error by sophomore third basemen Ryan Uphouse, which allowed sophomore left fielder Mike Tamsin to score.

That would be the closest Northeastern would get, as the Patriots would tag Smith for four unanswered runs. Freshman Ryan Quigley finished the game for the Huskies, tossing a scoreless 1 1/3 innings while striking out two.

“I think we beat ourselves in the first game; that’s probably the first time this year that we can say that,” said manager Neil McPhee. “Giving away outs, giving away base runners caused us to give up a number of runs and not score when opportunity presented itself to us.”

It was the second straight start in which Smith (1-2 6.48) has struggled.

“Trevor is a very intellectual, poised pitcher out there,” McPhee said. “He needs to think about starting games off and continuing and maintaining his 90-plus fastball. He’s not doing that at the present time and it’s costing him … but he understands it. I have no doubts that he’ll reverse his pitching strategy in the near future. He’s very talented and very intelligent on the mound.”

Game two belonged to junior pitcher Kris Dabrowiecki, who punched out a career-high 14 Patriots in 6 2/3 innings of work, throwing 137 pitches while allowing eight hits, four walks and three runs as NU won 5-3.

“[He] pitched an excellent game,” Milano said. “His off-speed stuff was working very well.”

Dabrowiecki (2-0) is tied for the team lead in wins and his 1.37 ERA tops the CAA.

After George Mason got a run in the second, sophomore designated hitter Frank Pesanello launched a two-run home run in the bottom frame of the inning, scoring Tamsin, who had walked.

Junior shortstop Mike Lyon ripped his team-leading fourth home run of the season to left in the bottom of the seventh to cap the scoring for the Huskies. Lyon leads the team in home runs and is second in batting average (.368) and tied for second in RBI (eight).

“His pitch recognition right now is by far the best it’s ever been since he’s been in the program. He’s not chasing curve balls outside in the dirt, that type of thing,” McPhee said. “He’s seeing the ball longer, naturally he has a better chance to make the contact he’s making. … Right now Mike is really truly coming into his own, and that’s a great thing to see.”

Milano had two hits and an RBI and Tamsin added a double and an RBI for NU. Freshman Sheldon McDonald slammed the door shut, blanking the Patriots for the final 2 1/3 innings in relief of Dabrowiecki to earn his first career save.

Sophomore Mike Modica (2-2 4.38) took the loss for Mason (8-9, 5-3 CAA), giving up four hits and four runs in two innings of work.

Yesterday’s home game against Connecticut was postponed to May 7 at 2 p.m. NU will travel to Towson (6-12, 2-4 CAA) for a three game series this weekend with the Tigers. Probable pitchers for the Huskies are junior Jeff Thomson (2-1 2.70), Dabrowiecki (2-0 1.37) and McDonald (0-1 6.52).

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