An away series. A highly-ranked Colonial Athletic Association opponent. A decisive Game 1 loss, followed by two one-run defeats in Games 2 and 3, where William and Mary comebacks fell just short to complete the weekend sweep. Sound familiar? That’s because after following that pattern in Harrisonburg against James Madison last weekend, the College did it once again in Boston this weekend.
Northeastern (22-13, 8-3 CAA) started off their weekend sweep of the Tribe (15-25, 3-11 CAA) when they very nearly pitched a no-hitter to open the series. The College only managed to get a single hit in Friday’s game, when senior outfielder Ryan Hall singled in the top of the eighth inning. Despite the late attempt to kickstart the offense, the Tribe was held off the scoreboard entirely Friday as Northeastern claimed a 4-0 victory.
Saturday, the Tribe came in determined to redeem themselves after Friday’s scoreless performance. In the College’s third at-bat of the game in the top of the first, junior catcher Hunter Smith smacked a double into the right field, eventually scoring on a single from junior infielder Colin Lipke to claim a 1-0 lead early in the game. With two hits and a run in the first inning, both more than the College had seen in the entire game Friday, it looked like the Tribe might be on a better trajectory. But a disheartening two runs from Northeastern in the bottom of the same inning put the College down 2-1, stripping away its very brief early lead.
Although the College held the Huskies off the scoreboard for the next four innings, Northeastern was still the next team to cross home plate with a run in the bottom of the sixth to bring their lead to 3-1. But in the top of the eighth, the Tribe found an answer: junior infielder Zach Pearson batted in two runs on a single with the bases loaded, scoring sophomore outfielder Brandon Raquet and Smith to tie the game at 3-3 going into the bottom of the eighth.
But just like in the first inning, Northeastern had an immediate answer with a single run to reclaim the lead at 4-3. Despite getting on base in the top of the ninth, the Tribe couldn’t recover from the late tally and were forced to concede its second loss of the weekend as the Huskies celebrated their victory and series win.
Sunday, despite the series loss, plenty was still at stake for the College. It has been hunting for a conference win since April 6, since the College won both halves of a double-header against CAA opponent Towson.
After Northeastern opened scoring with two runs in the bottom of the third, Lipke arrowed a triple into right field in the top of the fourth, eventually scoring to cut the Huskies’ lead to 2-1. But despite the answering tally, the Tribe was held to just one hit in its final five innings at-bat, eventually falling in another one-run loss to go winless on the weekend.
The College continues to sit in last place in the CAA rankings with three conference victories on the season. With the season winding down, it only has three conference series remaining. Its upcoming weekend series against CAA opponent Hofstra at home is an opportunity for the Tribe to claim an important conference victory in Williamsburg at Plumeri Park.