Northeastern’s baseball team is three wins away from reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 14 years.
The Huskies will play Delaware or UNC Wilmington in the semifinal round of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament on Thursday in Harrisburg, Virginia. If they win the conference championship, they will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s our No. 1 goal,” said Mike Glavine, the head coach. “We’re trying not to put pressure on ourselves, but we want to win this for everyone associated with the program.”
Northeastern went 33-17 in the regular season, for the most wins in team history, and earned a first-round bye in the CAA Tournament.
The Huskies scored more than six runs per game, second in the conference.
Four players hit .300 or better, seven players scored at least 25 runs, and nine players went deep, accounting for a team total of 31 home runs. The Huskies led the conference with a .282 batting average and finished second in team slugging at .404.
Charlie McConnell, the leadoff hitter, led the Huskies with a .353 batting average. Jake Farrell, who hits third, ripped 13 doubles, seven triples, and eight home runs for a .601 slugging percentage.
“We can score a lot of ways,” said Glavine. “It’s been fun to watch.”
Two hard-throwing lefties—Sean Mellen and Andrew Misiaszek—carried Northeastern’s pitching staff.
Mellen, a starter, led Northeastern in wins (10), ERA (1.60), and strikeouts (75). Misiaszek, a reliever, saved 12 games, held opponents to a .239 batting average, and walked just 11 batters in 48 innings.
Glavine said he will name his starter for Thursday’s game on Wednesday. “Sean is competitive and tough,” the coach said of his ace. “He has a really good fastball and changeup and mixes in a breaking ball that keeps hitters off balance.”
The Huskies won both regular season games against Delaware, outscoring the Blue Hens 15 to 2. They lost two of three games to UNCW, but scored four or more runs in each matchup.
Glavine said Northeastern’s success in the tournament will depend on its offense. “We need to get our offense going and score runs, which will put pressure on our opponent and force them to get into their bullpen.”