The Wildcats continued to get good pitching at home, but two costly errors in the second inning was all the Huskies needed to squeeze out a 3-2 win over ACU Friday night.
The loss moves ACU to 4-2 overall with their first home defeat of the new season. The series will continue with a double-header on Saturday and game four of the series on Sunday at noon.
Head coach Britt Bonneau’s squad returned home after dropping a 7-1 decision in Norman to Oklahoma University earlier this week. Senior Kyle Carroll built on his great last outing with a solid game against the Huskies. Carroll finished with 6.0 innings, four hits, three unearned runs while striking out seven in the hard-knocked loss.
Carroll struggled with control at times against the lineup from Massachusetts. He walked three and hit three batters, and had just one perfect inning.
In a game that was predominately uneventful, both teams platted runners in the second inning. The Huskies got things started with a hit batter and a walk to put runners on with no outs. A ground ball to junior third baseman Aaron Draper appeared to be a much needed rally-killing double play. However, the throw from Draper to first baseman David Ruot pulled the freshman off the base to load the bases with no outs.
After getting a shallow, fly ball out to left field, Carroll gave up a sharply hit ground ball to Draper, who couldn’t come up with it and allowed two runners to score from third and second base. A sac fly would drive in a third run for the Huskies who grabbed an early 3-0 lead.
The Wildcats responded with three straight hits to get on the scoreboard. Junior second baseman Russell Crippen, who lead off the inning with a single, was driven in by Ruot with an RBI-single up the middle. After two, ACU cut into the Huskies lead, trailing 3-1.
Northeastern pitcher Aaron Civale was dominate against ACU, going 8.0 innings while allowing seven hits, two earned runs and forcing 12 ground ball outs in the win. The Wildcats were able to get runners on in both the fourth and fifth innings, but couldn’t move them around. Senior designated hitter Heath Beasley grounded into a double play, and Ruot was picked off in the following inning after leading things off with a single.
Draper was able to get the ACU offense going with a one-out double in the sixth inning to get into scoring position. Junior left fielder Braxton Wilks came through with a big two-out, RBI-single to drive in Draper and cut the deficit to one run late in the game.
Carroll worked out of several jams in the opener after the three-run second inning. In the fourth, with runners on, Carroll got the strikeout to retire the side. A hit batter and a double put runners on second and third with one out in the fifth inning. Carroll got a strikeout for the second out and got the Huskies to pop up in the infield to work his way out of danger.
Although ACU couldn’t get the offense to come through one final time, the bullpen was great. Junior Zach Kornely, senior Nick Palacios and freshman Joseph Goetze worked perfect seventh, eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to hold the Northeastern offense.