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Huskies Drop Two in a Row to Bay State Rivals

May 4th, 2012

The Huskies lost the consolation Beanpot matchup versus Boston College 12-6 at Friedman Diamond and a day later dropped a heart breaker to UMass 7-6 at Earl Lorden Field in Amherst. At six games under .500 the Huskies head to Hempstead, NY this weekend to face a Hofstra team that is looking for a sweep sitting just three games behind UNC-Wilmington for first place in the Colonial league standings.

Vs. BC L 12-6: The Huskies jumped out to a fast start led by senior captain Matt Miller who scored off a Rob Fonseca double in the first to put NU up 1-0. Two innings later after a four pitch walk to John Puttress, Miller took a 1-0 pitch deep over the left field fence for his first home run of the year and 3-0 lead. The Eagles would respond in the fifth with a 6 run outburst which saw NU starter Sam Berg (L 1-3) get only one out while serving up a grand slam to Marc Perdios, and allowing an RBI single to Tom Bourdon before coming out in favor of reliever Mike Hanlon who allowed an RBI double before inducing a pop up to end the threat at 6-3.

In the top of the sixth Jon Leroux hit a 2 run homer cutting the lead at 6-5 but the Husky bullpen was ineffective in keeping the game close and allowed 3 runs in the in the bottom of the sixth and eighth innings respectively. The Huskies would manufacture one run in the seventh when Barbosa walked, stole second and scored on a Miller double to make it 9-6 but were retired in order to end the game.

Vs. UMass L 7-6 Husky starter Matt Cook didn’t pitch bad, but he certainly was not great either. Cook allowed 6 hits and 6 runs (4 earned) but ran into trouble right from the get go allowing 3 runs in the first inning, 1 in the third and 2 more in the fourth. Cook put the leadoff man on via hit by pitch in the first and leadoff walks in the third and fourth, all three BC base runners eventually scored the first run of those innings. Freshman Jason Vosler who has proven to be a future cog in the Husky order with timely hitting all season simply could not get it done when his team needed it the most. Vosler was 0-2 with Matt Miller on third base, once with the game tied at 3 in the third and again in the seventh down 6-4.

The Minutemen would add an insurance run in the seventh to go up 7-4 which proved costly an NU would stage some late game heroics. A two out Aaron Barbosa RBI single plated Connor Lyons who previously walked, pinch hitter Ricky Salvucci followed with an RBI single scoring Jason Roth who previously singled making the score 7-6, and putting runners on the corners for Miller who entered the at bat 3-3. Minuteman closer Leif Sorensen came into face Miller who smacked a sinking liner to right which appeared to be the game tying hit, yet UMass right fielder Kyle Adie made a diving snare to end the threat. Sorensen came out to sit down the Huskies 1-2-3 for his seventh save of the season, tying a UMass school record.

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Huskies sweep Towson; Ferguson named National Player of the Week

May 4th, 2012

In a three game set at Friedman Diamond the Huskies proved their is a pulse in the clubhouse, with sights of finishing strong and securing a winning season with a sweep of the Towson Tigers. One of the most competitive series in all of the 2012 campaign, the Huskies walked off with a win in game one, and scored 10 unanswered runs over the last three innings of game two. Sunday’s game three saw Kevin Ferguson throw a 1-hit complete game which earned him National Player of the Week named by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. A much needed sweep for an NU team that was riding a 6 game CAA losing streak, the 14-21 Huskies now have the opportunity with 13 games remaining to finish above .500 for the first time since 2009.

GAME ONE: Win 5-4 Entering the ninth inning down 4-3, the Huskies plated 2 runs in the final frame to walk off with  the opener. Andrew Leenhouts was one out shy of a complete game effort which saw him strike out 9 over 8.2 innings pitched allowing 4 runs on 7 hits. Sam Berg would come in to throw one pitch in the top of the ninth to end the frame before the comeback.

NU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third courtesy of a steal of home by Aaron Barbosa, and back to back RBI singles from Matt Miller and Rob Fonseca. Towson responded with 2 runs of their own in the fifth, and took the 4-3 lead an inning later after back to back homers to lead off the sixth. A two-out walk by Oliver Hart in the bottom of the ninth, followed by a Towson error from shortstop Hunter Bennett and a walk to Connor Lyons loaded the bases for leadoff man and Husky leading hitter Aaron Barbosa. After a wild pitch tied the game at 4, Barbosa singled in the winning run for the 5-4 walk-off win.

GAME TWO: Win 10-1 Towson manufactured a quick 1-0 lead in the second inning as Kurtis Voytell walked, stole second and scored on an RBI single from Ben Winter. Aside from that blip on the radar the Huskies pitching staff received a shot in the arm from Nick Berger (6 IP 5H 1R; W 3-3) and Dylan Maki (3IP 1H 0R; Save 2) in holding the Tiger bats at bay.

Through five innings Towson starter Michael Trionfo held NU scoreless allowing only 2 hits, yet the bottom of the sixth saw a scoring onslaught which plated 7 consecutive Huskies. Jon Leroux was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning followed by a walk, single, walk, 2RBI single from Matt Miller, 2RBI triple from Rob Fonseca and RBI single from Jason Vosler before two consecutive fly outs to right field. Batting for the second time in the inning, Leroux would hit an RBI triple  before C Lyons was out advancing to end the frame 8-1.

The Huskies would add two more runs in the eighth with a bases loaded 2 run single from John Puttress. Maki retired the final nine Towson batters to preserve the win.

GAME THREE: Win 2-0 Kevin Ferguson was simply brilliant. His complete game one hitter earned him national accolades as he improved the 5-3 on the season and lowered his ERA to 3.02 good for fifth best in the CAA. Ferguson faced the minimum (27 batters) as he allowed his only base runner in the top of the third when Kurt Wentz singled up the middle, but catcher Jon Leroux promptly picked him off mere pitches later. Ferguson needed only 93 pitches  in striking out 9 batters and walking none in the matinee which lasted only 1 hour and 58 minutes. All season long Ferguson has shown this type of ability as this is the seventh time this year in which Ferguson has pitched past the sixth inning, third time he has thrown at least eight innings and first complete game of his career.

The Huskies stranded a runner at third base with out in the second and third, then again in the fourth with two outs. Finally in the sixth inning NU plated a run in support of Ferguson’s effort when Matt Miller scored on a wild pitch after walking to lead off the inning.  The Huskies would add an insurance run in the eighth when Barbosa singled, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out and scored courtesy of another Tiger wild pitch.

WEEKEND PERFORMERS:

-Barbosa .500 (7/14) 1RBI, 3R, 1GW RBI

-Leroux .364 (4/11) 1RBI, 3R

-Fonseca .400 (4/10) 2RBI, 1R

-Miller .400 (4/10) 3RBI, 3R

-Ferguson 9 IP;  1H;  0R;  0BB;  9K; 27 Batters faced; 93 Pitches

- Berg W; 1 Pitch!

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Nowhere to go but up for Husky baseball team

April 23rd, 2012

The Husky baseball team is reeling. There is nothing more to say. They are 1-8 in CAA conference play. A weekend sweep to the hands of UNC- Wilmington has put NU alone in the basement of the Colonial Athletic Conference. The first place Seahawks improved to 15-3 in the CAA and lead George Mason by 3.5 games.

The three game series saw the Huskies get out hit 39-21 and outscored 34-7. Seahawks starting pitchers Tyler McSwain and Matt Batt both pitched complete games respectively in games one and two.

The sweep leaves NU with a 2-14 record in the previous 16 games and 14-21 overall. BIG PICTURE! If they go 7-7 the Huskies could be sitting right in the thick of things within the CAA. The Huskies starting pitchers run into trouble around the sixth inning week in and week out, the offense has lacked timely hitting with runners in scoring position and the bullpen remains a revolving door. Over those sixteen games the Huskies rode both six and seven game losing streaks.

From March 30- April 23, NU had four conference weekend series that resulted in sweeps to Virginia Commonwealth, James Madison and now UNCW and lost 2 out of 3 to George Mason for their lone CAA win on the season.

Sitting at 14-21 on the campaign with 16 games remaining the Huskies have the opportunity to redeem themselves in the CAA and make a jump in the standings with 12 conferences matchups versus Towson, Hofstra, Old Dominion and Delaware.

Four non-league New England matchups round out the remaining schedule with a game at Friedman Diamond and rematches versus Boston College, UMass and URI.

A young core to this team should be capable of finishing at least .500 by aiding the six seniors in the final campaign. Look for Barbosa and Puttress to continue to set the table for the dynamic freshman tandem of Jason Vosler and Rob Fonseca who have combined for 11 home runs and 55 RBI. Jon Leroux has been a steady veteran presence all season at DH and behind the plate while hitting .318 with 3 home runs and 23 RBI.

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UMass hands Huskies their eighth straight loss in Beanpot opener

April 12th, 2012

In a tight ball game at LeLacheur Field in Lowell, MA Husky starter Matt Cook fared well in his sixth start of the season going 7 strong inning allowing 4 runs on 4 hits but the Huskies once again could not come up with timely hitting.

After a run a piece in the second, the score was tied in the bottom of the fourth when Cook made his most pivotal mistake of the afternoon. On a 1-1 count the sophomore hung a breaking ball to UMass third basemen Nik Campero who proceeded to clear the bases with his first career home run giving the Minuteman a 3-1 lead

UMass would manufacture another insurance run in the bottom of the sixth as junior Anthony Serino walked, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and came home on a RBI single by Adam Picard.

The three run cushion proved to be all UMass would need as starting pitcher Connor LeBlanc and two UMass relievers held the Husky offense at bay, allowing only 2 hits over the final 6 frames.

The Beanpot final will see UMass play a Harvard team who beat Boston College 5-2 in the other opening game.

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Easter weekend sweep to James Madison sends Huskies to bottom of CAA standings

April 11th, 2012

A weekend sweep in Harrisonburg, VA to JMU now puts NU tied for last place in Colonial league play with a 3-9 conference record. The Huskies now are one game behind JMU who leapfrogged them in the standings with the sweep. JMU took game one by a score of 14-6; game two 3-2; and game three 16-7.

On the weekend the Huskies were outscored 33 to 15, outhit 46 to 26 and committed 8 compared to JMU’s 2.

Game one saw Andrew Leenhouts get shelled as he allowed 7 runs on 10 hits in only 4 innings. He also had 3 walks and has now lost his last two starts falling to 3-2 on the season.

John Leroux spotted Leenhouts and the Huskies a two-run lead with a 2RBI homer in the first, which was given right back as JMU tacked on 2 against the senior lefty. Rob Fonseca gave NU a 4-2 lead with a two-run double in the third, but one inning later is when JMU erupted for 5 runs off of Leenhouts.

JMU would add 7 more runs in the sixth of reliever Sam Berg before Michael Murphy came in to throw 2.2 innings of 1-hit ball. Jason Roth pinch-hitting in the ninth blasted a solo shot for his first hit on the season in his first plate appearance.

Game two saw the only competitive action of the weekend as the Huskies held a 2-1 lead after five innings of play courtesy of two back-to-back RBI singles from Jason Vosler in the fourth and the fifth innings respectively.

Despite allowing 11 hits over 7 innings of work, Kevin Ferguson battled all afternoon and only allowed 3 earned runs on 110 pitches. Ferguson took the loss dropping to 4-2 on the season and also losing his second start in a row.

The James Madison bullpen was perfect on the afternoon throwing 4 innings of no-hit ball after relieving starter Michael Howerton paving the way for the 3-2 victory.

Game three was much like game one where Husky starting pitcher Nick Berger allowed 6 runs on 9hits over 3 innings. Dylan Maki came in for relief in the fourth and allowed whopping 10 runs on 11 hits in 4.2 innings pitched.

It was a back and forth game for much of the afternoon as the Huskies jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after the first but relinquished it rather quickly as JMU responded with 4 of their own. NU pulled within one run in the second, fourth and fifth inning but the bottom of the eighth saw the Dukes blow things open with a 7 run bombardment of the lefty Maki.

NU committed 4 errors on the day and was out hit 20 to 11. The Huskies could not come up with the timely hits Coach McPhee was looking for in critical situations en route to the 16-7 loss.

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VCU outscores Huskies 24-7 over the weekend en route to series sweep

April 3rd, 2012

Northeastern fell to 12-10 on the season and 3-6 in the CAA with the three game weekend sweep to Virginia Commonwealth. With Andrew Leenhouts and Kevin Ferguson entering the series a combined 7-0 on the season, both getting starts, NU appeared to be in good shape.  But VCU came up north and leapfrogged the Huskies in the CAA standings and delivered both pitchers their first losses on the 2012 campaign. VCU outhit NU 37 to 25 including 3 home runs for the sweep. The Huskies now face URI in a non-league matchup before they try and rebound vs James Madison and try to pull back to .500 in the CAA.

GAME 1: L 6-2

Andrew Lennhouts faced only 24 of 21 possible hitters through the first seven innings and allowed only 1 run but the Huskies couldn’t muster up any run support, even though the opportunities were there.

In the bottom of the third after tying the game at 1, the bases were loaded for Husky cleanup hitter John Leroux who proceeded to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.

Still tied at 1 in the sixth, the Huskies had runners on second and third with one out. The runner on third Leroux was gunned out at home for out number two after breaking for the plate on an Alex McKeon ground ball to third although not forced. After a Connor Lyons bunt put runners on second and third again, Oliver Hart grounded out to short to end the inning.

After back-to-back singles with one out in the seventh, Leroux grounded into his second 6-4-3 double play on the day with a runner in scoring position to end the inning still tied.

Allowing VCU to hang around over the first seven innings proved costly, as the Rams would pounce on Leenhouts in the eighth. VCU scored 5 runs off the lefty senior including a two-run homer before Mike Hanlon came on in relief.

The Huskies responded in the bottom of the eighth with one run to cut the Ram lead 6-2 but VCU reliever Blake Bauser ended the threat and then came back out for the ninth to seal the win.

GAME 2: L 8-2


A Joey Cujas RBI single in the top of the first provided VCU with a 1-0 lead until an Aaron Barbosa RBI groundout tied the game in the bottom of the fifth.

Maki pitched well through five but ran into trouble in the top of the sixth by allowing a one out double followed by a 3 straight singles which put VCU up 2-1 and left the bases loaded as Coach McPhee opted to go to his bullpen. Reliever Sam Berg would hit the first batter he faced resulting in a run then allowed back-to-back RBI singles making the score 5-1. With the bases still loaded and one out, Berg was lifted for Nick Berger who was greeted with the same results. He would walk in a run, then allowed an RBI single making the score 7-1 before VCU shortstop Vimael Machin grounded into an inning ending 4-6-3 double play.

The Huskies would score one run in the bottom of the sixth as Vosler doubled home Leroux for his team leading 21 RBI. VCU would add one more run on a solo shot in the top of the seventh and the 6 run lead proved to be enough for the Rams in game two.

GAME 3: L 10-3


VCU would score early and often as they scored a pair of runs in five of the first six innings. Ram’s starting pitcher Heath Dwyer after allowing 2 runs on 5 hits over the first two frames, would retire 15 batters in a row en route to the game three victory.

The Huskies jumped out 1-0 in the bottom of the first after a Leroux RBI single for their first lead of the weekend as ace Ferguson was vying to improve to 5-0 on the season. The Huskies would not enjoy the lead for long as VCU right fielder Taylor Buran led off the second with a solo blast before the Rams tacked on another to take a 2-1 lead. An Aaron Barbosa RBI single plated Connor Lyons who previously singled to tie the game 2-2 after two innings of play.

After the second it was all VCU as they pounced on Ferguson who would last only 5 innings allowing 8 runs on 10 hits. Dwyer would remain dominant all afternoon; the only blip on the radar was a Rob Fonseca solo homer to lead off the seventh inning, as the Huskies ended the game by being retired in order following the blast. Dwyer and relief pitcher Blake Hauser who came in for the ninth, would combine to face only one batter over the minimum after the second inning.

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Huskies look to close out March on high note

March 30th, 2012

WEEKEND PRIMER

Riding a 3-game winning streak and victorious in four of their last 5 games, Northeastern looks to improve on their CAA record as Virginia Commonwealth comes to Brookline for a three game set this weekend.

With a win today and tomorrow, the Huskies will finish March with a record of 13-5 before the finals game of the series April 1.

Including the opening round of the Beanpot Tournament versus UMass and non-league matchups against New England foes URI and Harvard, this is a pivotal juncture of the season where we will learn a lot about Coach McPhee, in his 26th year, and his 2012 squad. The month of April will see the Huskies play 18 games, 13 of which are Colonial league matchups.

Currently sixth in the CAA at 3-3, Northestern will look to make a leap in the standing against a VCU team who is currently 9th in the CAA with a 3-6 conference record. The Rams and are led by Joey Cujas who leads the CAA with a .448 batting average and .549 on-base percentage. NU’s John Puttress trails Cujas by .19 and is second in the CAA with a .429 average.

After the series against VCU, the Huskies will hit the road for a game at Rhode Island then shoot to Virginia to face a James Madison squad who enter today as the last place team in the CAA standings with a 1-8 conference record. The Huskies then setup shop at Friedman Diamond for 11 home games (not including Beanpot) with series against CAA foes George Mason, UNC-Wilmington and Towson as well as two non-league matchups to close out April.


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Huskies walk-off with 5 in the ninth vs. Boston College

March 29th, 2012

Brookline, Mass.- Boston College invaded Friedman Diamond on Tuesday March 27, but left dejectedly as the Huskies improved to 12-7 on the season with a 12-11 victory. The 9-14 Eagles were sent back to Chestnut Hill with a sour taste in their mouths after allowing 5 runs in the bottom of the ninth inning in the non-league battle of neighboring institutions.

The Huskies were paced by freshman Jason Vosler who finished 3-5 with 2 triples, 3 RBI and 3 runs scored while junior John Puttress delivered the game tying RBI single and scored the winning run after entering the game in the eighth inning. Northeastern showed a lot of intestinal fortitude as they battled all afternoon and survived two big innings, where BC would score all their runs with 7 in the third and 4 in the fifth.

After a scoreless first inning, Jason Vosler hit his first triple with one out then scored on an Alex Mckeon sacrifice fly to put the Huskies up 1-0.

Making his fourth start of the season, Husky right-hander Matt Cook would last only 3 innings after BC responded in the top of the third with 7 runs of their own. Cook started the inning off by walking the first two batters, allowing a single then walking in an Eagle run to tie the game at one. BC would put together a string of RBI hits including a 2 run triple by catcher Marr Pare before Cook ended the threat with consecutive ground balls to second basemen Michael Foster as the Eagles jumped out to a 7-1 lead.

Boston College starter Steve Green did not fare much better as was chased in the bottom of the third after allowing singles to the first three Husky batters he faced, then walked in a run before allowing a sacrifice fly to Jon Leroux and a two-run single from Vosler. With the score 7-5, BC called upon senior lefty Nate Bayuk to stop the bleeding as he struck out Connor Lyons with the bases loaded to end the threat.

The Huskies added one more in the bottom of the fourth to cut the deficit to 7-6 after Matt Miller hit a sacrifice fly scoring Foster who tripled earlier. BC responded with their second big inning of the afternoon pushing their lead to 11-6 in the top of the fifth, as they would plate 4 runs off of freshman Matt Goreham who made his first career appearance on the mound for NU.

Vosler continued to be the pulse of the Huskies as he led off the bottom of the fifth with his second triple on the day and scored on a McKeon sacrifice fly to keep Northeastern within striking distance at 11-7.

Still trailing 11-7 entering the bottom of the ninth and the meat of their order due up, the Huskies started off with three consecutive singles before an RBI fielder’s choice hit by Vosler cut the BC lead to 3. With one out, BC pitcher Tyler Hinchliffe was lifted in favor of Kyle Prohovich who was greeted rudely by the first batter he faced as Alex McKeon laced a double to right center plating two. With the tying run on second, the C.A.A. second leading batter John Puttress delivered a single plating the run for his 14th RBI on the season. After advancing to third via a Connor Lyons single and an Aaron Barbosa walk, Puttress would cross the plate with the winning run after a Prohovich wild pitch for the 12-11 Huskey walk-off win.

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Huskies sweep 2-game series versus Richmond in Virginia

March 26th, 2012

This past weekend saw the Husky baseball team sweep a two-game series in Virginia versus Richmond University (13-8) winning game one by a score of 15-10 and game two 8-2. Northeastern coach Neil McPhee rode two strong pitching performances from senior LHP Andrew Leenhouts (3-0; 3.48 ERA) and junior LHP Kevin Ferguson (4-0; 1.72 ERA).

With the sweep the Huskies improve to 11-7 on the season as they prepare to face Boston College in a non league matchup for local bragging rights on Tuesday 3/27/12 at Friedman Diamond. First pitch is slated for 3:00pm.

GAME 1: Win 15-10
In a back and forth game that saw scoring outbursts from both teams; the Huskies were propelled behind a 9-run seventh inning en route to a 15-10 victory.

Leenhouts picked up the win allowing 4 runs on 5 hits over 6 innings to go along with 8 strikeouts.

Down 1-0 after a solo home run from Richmond DH Matt Zink in the first, NU responded in the top of third with six runs of their own. Sparked by a one out Aaron Barbosa RBI triple which scored Michael Foster who previously singled, the Huskies were provided with a five run cushion courtesy of a grand slam by Jason Vosler, followed by a solo shot from Rob Fonseca for their fourth home runs respectively on the 2012 campaign.

The Spiders bounced back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the third cutting the Husky lead to 6-4 after a 3-run shot by two-time A10 second team catcher Chris Cowell.

The score would remain 6-4 until the seventh inning where both teams combined for 15 runs. The Huskies scored 9 runs in the inning off a combination of 5 hits and 2 Spider errors for a comfortable 15-4 lead until Richmond responded with 6 runs of their own behind a three-run homer from first basemen Bryan Conway to cut the Husky lead to 15-10.

With the win hanging in the balance, McPhee could not let another formidable outing from Leenhouts go to waste like last weekend’s 11 run come from behind loss at Georgia St, as he turned to his bullpen for the final 9 outs in the game. Despite the 6 runs allowed from Mike Hanlon, who has struggled mightily this season in relief allowing 10 earned runs in just 9.1 innings pitched, the NU bullpen managed to shut the door behind a scoreless inning of work from both Sam Berg and Nick Berger in preserving the road victory.

GAME 1: Win 8-2

Game two of the series on Sunday saw junior starter Kevin Ferguson throw 7 scoreless innings while scattering 7 hits and striking out 8 in the victory. Ferguson lowered his team leading ERA to 1.72 good for third best in the CAA while improving to a team best 4-0.

The Husky bats started off fast and furious scoring 3 runs in the top of the first inning while subsequently scoring a run in the next two innings to go up 5-0 after three innings of play.  Spider’s starter Ryan Cook got knocked out of the game after lasting only 3 innings.

After adding a run in the top of the sixth to make it 6-0, Nick Berger eventually came on in relief of Ferguson in the eighth inning and decided to make things a little interesting. After a lead off double, followed by a hit batsman and a walk, the Spiders seemed poised to stage a comeback with the bases loaded and no outs. Yet Berger settled down and retired Phil Flannagan via a 4-6-3 double play that plated a run. After an RBI single from Richmond’s Ryan Mallory, Berger got the third out via a fly ball to right field stranding a runner in scoring position.

The Huskies added an insurance run off of a Fonseca sacrifice fly and another off of a Spider’s passed ball to go up 8-2 in the top of the ninth, which proved to be all Northeastern would need as Michael Foster came in for the final three outs for the series sweep.

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