By Elizabeth Thomas
BROOKLINE, MA- For the second day in a row, Northeastern University’s baseball team fell to conference foe Virginia Commonwealth, 8-2.
“(These are) two disappointing losses, but we can’t get discouraged by it. We’ve played very well all season and I expect us to continue to play the same and win [on Sunday],” said Northeastern head coach Neil McPhee. “The conference is very good, [and] every game the expectation is to go out there and play solid baseball”
Northeastern junior pitcher Dylan Maki made his first start since March 17, going five and a third innings, and allowing five earned runs on 11 hits, while VCU junior Ryan Farrar earned his third win going six innings and allowing two earned runs on just four hits.
“He (Maki) has been on a limited pitch count the last couple of weeks due to the tenderness in his arm, [and] under normal circumstances we would have left him in there,” said McPhee. “He actually threw the ball very well, they squared up the ball pretty well on him in that inning a couple of times, but his velocity was very good and his movement was still very good.”
Maki encountered some trouble early in the first frame after VCU sophomore infielder Joey Cujas drove in his team’s first run. Maki recovered a few seconds later after senior Taylor Perkins hit a chopper back to the mound, which initiated the final two outs.
Northeastern evened the score in the bottom of the fifth inning when sophomore Aaron Barbosa recorded an RBI after grounding out to shortstop, which sent freshman Alex McKeon to the dish.
VCU’s bats exploded on the ensuing offensive possession by posting six more runs, which gave the Rams a comfortable 7-1 cushion. Northeastern attempted to chip away at the deficit in the bottom half of the same inning, but only mustered one run when freshman Jason Vosler drove home junior Jon Leroux.
The Rams then secured their second win of the three-game series in the top of the seventh when junior Taylor Buran hit a solo home run, which padded VCU’s lead for good.
“If we continue to play as well as we’ve been playing all year long, we will win a lot of ball games with this team and expect to go into the tournament,” said McPhee.
Both teams will return to the diamond on Sunday, April 1, at 1:00pm.