Top-seeded Northeastern broke open a tight game with a four-run sixth and got a solid pitching performance from Nate Borges to defeat #5 College of Charleston, 8-5, in Game 8 of the CAA Baseball Championship on Friday night at Brooks Field.
The Huskies (29-24) advance to play #2 UNCW at 1 p.m. on Saturday, with the winner earning a date against #4 Delaware in the tournament finals. The Cougars closed their season with a 28-31 mark.
Jimmy Hand led four Northeastern players with multiple hits as he went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI’s. Scott Holzwasser was 2-for-5 and also knocked in two. Third baseman Tommy Richter accounted for half of Charleston’s six hits, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored.
Borges (5-3) overcame a slow start to limit CofC to a pair of earned runs on five hits over 6.1 innings, while striking out four. Starter Clay Hunt (1-1) took the loss for the Cougars after surrendering four runs on seven hits over 3.0 innings.
Leading 4-3, Hand and Pat Madigan drew walks to start the NU sixth, and Hand came around to score on a one-out fielder’s choice. Charlie McConnell followed with a single to right, and Madigan took advantage of a throwing error on the play to come home. Holzwasser then lined a two-run double to left that increased the Huskies’ lead to 8-3.
Both teams got off to fast starts offensively. NU’s Charlie McConnell walked to lead off the game, moved to third on Holzwasser’s single, and scored on Cam Hanley’s sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the first, Dupree Hart reached on an error and a Richter single put runners on the corners for the Cougars. Hart came across on a groundout and Erven Roper’s RBI single to right put CofC on top, 2-1.
The Huskies used three singles to tie the game in the second as Michael Geaslen’s base hit brought in Max Burt. Hand’s two-run homer to right in the top of the fourth put NU ahead 4-2, before CofC cut the deficit in half on Bradley Dixon’s solo shot to left.
Charleston tried to battle back late, picking up a run in the seventh as Hart scored on a wild pitch, and another in the ninth on a two-out RBI single from Richter.