By Josh Kummins
BROOKLINE, MA – After Les Williams’ impressive complete-game performance on the Friedman Diamond mound Friday, junior Andrew Leenhouts tossed eight innings of two-hit ball to lead the Northeastern Huskies to a 1-0 win over Hofstra in Colonial Athletic Association baseball action on Saturday.
Saturday’s win extended Northeastern’s shutout streak to 19.1 innings and marks the first time since April 2005 when the Huskies shutout local rivals Hartford and UMass. During the series against the Hawks, which occurred six years ago the Huskies outscored their opposition, 33-6.
Despite many quality scoring opportunities throughout the entire game, the true story of this contest was the pitching duel between Leenhouts and Hofstra senior, Rob Kumbatovic.
Hofstra’s chances were not as sizable as Northeastern’s because Leenhouts found his way out of a sixth inning jam when he walked center fielder Danny Poma and third baseman Joe Perez before inducing a 4-3 groundout to the Pride’s designated hitter, Dylan Nasitaka.
The Hofstra offense managed just a pair of hits in the game that were collected by Poma and first baseman Jared Hammer during the third and fifth innings.
The Huskies left 13 runners on base, which was a season high and squandered a pair of runs during four separate innings.
Kumbatovic allowed six hits and walked five batters, but kept the Pride base runners stranded before they could cross the plate. He allowed a few single hits during the fourth and sixth innings before allowing two runners to reach the base path during the fifth inning.
The former NECBL, [New England Collegiate Baseball League] pitcher has yet to win a game, but gave way to fellow senior Jeff Guthridge in the eighth inning who finished with one earned run, which happened to be the game winner.
Huskies freshman second baseman Connor Lyons walked to lead-off the last of the ninth inning and advanced to second base when Aaron Barbosa laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt for the first out. The Pride intentionally walked junior co-captain and first baseman Matt Miller, but Guthridge uncorked a wild pitch to bring Lyons within 90 feet of home plate.
After throwing four balls to left fielder Jeff Dunlap and designated hitter Jon Leroux flied out to deep to shallow left field, Pete Castoldi came through with a walk-off RBI single that one-hopped the right-center field wall.
Castoldi, who struggled all day, made contact on the only ball that mattered, which gave the Huskies their second one-run win of the season.
Barbosa extended a nine-game hitting streak, which dates back to March 26, as well as stole his 12th base of the season, he currently leads his team in stolen bases. Leroux also doubled in the first inning to extend his current four-game hit streak.
Huskies sophomore Dylan Maki hurled a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn his second win of the season, as well as improve to [2-1].
Northeastern will look to sweep the three-game series with Brandon McNelis taking the ball Sunday afternoon. The Huskies have not swept a divisional foe since defeating Delaware in May 2009.