Baseball team strives to be ‘fearless’ this season

Photo by Jim Pierce/Northeastern University

At the beginning of the season, Northeastern baseball head coach Mike Glavine asks his squad to come up with a word that defines the team. This season, players chose “fearless.”

“It’s a fun thing I like to do,” Glavine said Monday in a phone interview. “It gives them ownership of what kind of team they want to have.” The word “fearless,” he said, signifies the Huskies to a T. “They’re not afraid to play anybody,” he said. “We run hard. We steal bases. Our defense isn’t afraid to make plays.”

The Huskies (14-10, 2-1 CAA) are the defending Colonial Athletic Association regular season champions. But Glavine said the team has unfinished business after coming up short in the CAA tournament last season. Northeastern has returned much of last year’s team, and has set several goals—a CAA championship, an appearance in the regionals, and winning 30 games among them. Another is winning the Beanpot tournament.

On Tuesday, Northeastern will play UMass in the semifinal game of the 2018 Beanpot tournament at Friedman Diamond in Brookline, Massachusetts. The Huskies last won the tournament in 2013 and are eager to bring the trophy back to Huntington Avenue.

Glavine said he’s been pleased with the team start to the season, particularly with its difficult non-conference schedule and travel. He noted the team’s strong play this past weekend, when the Huskies took two of three from James Madison to kick off conference play.

He said the team has performed well at the plate with a deep and balanced lineup. Junior outfielder Charlie McConnell (a team-high 38 hits, 16 stolen bases) has paced the Huskies from the leadoff spot, and junior Jake Farrell (five home runs and 24 RBIs) has provided pop from the cleanup spot and solidified the middle of the order.

On the mound, sophomore Sean Mellen (6-1, 2.40 ERA) has led the Huskies rotation, collecting wins in the Huskies’ home opener as well as against tough non-conference opponents such as Auburn and Missouri. “The team feeds off him when he pitches,” Glavine said of Mellen. Meanwhile, relievers Kyle Murphy and Andrew Misiaszek have been workhorses out of the bullpen. Combined, they have 36 strikeouts to only 12 walks.

This past weekend, some of the Huskies’ strengths were on full display. In three games, they stole five bases, collected 32 hits, and allowed more than two runs in only one game. “I’m really excited with how the team has played thus far,” he said.