Northeastern Edges Harvard Baseball, 6-5
Pictured: Jake McGuiggan had a pair of hits on Tuesday for the Crimson
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Pete Castoldi's sacrifice fly in the ninth inning gave visiting Northeastern a 6-5 victory over Harvard in a non-league baseball game at O'Donnell Field on Tuesday.
Working against lefty reliever Will Keuper, Aaron Barbosa led off with a drag bunt single and moved to third base on a single to center from Matt Miller, who went to second base on the throw to third. After an intentional walk, Castoldi lifted a fly ball to shallow left-center but the speedy Barbosa was able to score without a play at the plate.
It was the second run batted in of the day for Castoldi, who earlier kept a high fly ball inside the left field foul pole for a solo homer in the fourth inning.
Northeastern scratched for a run in the first inning but Harvard scored two runs in both the second and third innings against Huskies' starter JT Ross (3.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R). Jake McGuiggan delivered an RBI double, Jeff Hajdin plated a run with a perfectly-executed suicide squeeze, Tyler Albright plated a run with a sacrifice fly and McGuiggan scored another run with a single to center.
Northeastern tied the game in the fourth behind Castoldi and Sean Lyons, who delivered a two-run single out of the nine hole in the order.
Harvard went to the bullpen and Brent Suter shut down the NU attack with five strikeouts in 3.1 innings.
Harvard then took a 5-4 lead without needing a hit in the bottom of the seventh. Hajdin struck out on a ball in the dirt but the speedy freshman induced a wild throw to first base from NU catcher John Puttress. Hajdin then stole second base and took third when Puttras lofted a throw over his second baseman's head. Two batters later, NU reliever Chris Carmain (1-2, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 K) made an errant throw to third on a bad pickoff attempt, allowing Hajdin to score.
The lead didn't last unfortunately for Harvard as a bloop single just past the infield by Puttress started the eighth. With one out, a grounder destined for right field was corralled nicely by Harvard second baseman Jeff Reynolds who made the play at first, but Puttress went to second and Alan Pastyrnak scored the run with a single to left-center.
Harvard had a chance in the bottom of the eighth when Albright led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from McGuiggan. A fielding error put runners at the corner and pinch runner JT Tomes stole second to put two runners in scoring position with jack Colton at the plate. Two tough strike calls put Colton in a bind. Harvard put on a contact play but Colton sent a grounder directly to Castoldi at third and Albright was easily cut down at the plate. Still with two runners on base, NU's Miller had to make a diving stop at first base on a bounding ball from Hajdin and flip to Carmain at first to end the inning.
In the ninth, Dylan Maki (S, 2) struck out two of the three batters he faced to get the save.
Reynolds and McGuiggan led Harvard with two hits apiece while Barbosa had three for Northeastern to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
Harvard is back in action on Saturday and Sunday when the Crimson travels to Brown for four games in the Red Rolfe Division.