Kody Reeser pitched a complete game and Drew Wolfgang drove in the winning runs in the bottom of the sixth
Northeastern coach Andy Srebroski likes to preach to his players the importance of excelling in at least two of the three aspects of baseball every time it takes the field.
Taking on South Western at home on Wednesday, the Bobcats had no trouble pitching or fielding for most of the first six innings. But they couldn't seem to generate any offense, and went into the bottom of the sixth with just two hits in a scoreless tie.
With the prospect of extra innings starting to look likely, the Bobcats bats finally came alive. Northeastern registered three hits and two runs in the bottom of the sixth on its way to a 2-0 win over the Mustangs.
"You need two of the three every day, hit and pitch, pitch and defense or defense and hit. Today pitching and defense went hand in hand," Andy Srebroski said. "We got a couple of hits late and it pushed us over."
The biggest blow came from Drew Wolfgang, who knocked in both runs with a bases-loaded single with one out. With the Bobcats just starting to gain momentum after struggling on offense all game, Wolfgang said he felt due to get a hit.
"The energy had kind of picked up in the dugout, we were certainly feeding off of (two previous hits and a walk)," Wolfgang said. "If the rest of the team is hitting, it allows the energy to keep flowing to the rest of the guys. I knew I had a job to do and it had to be done."
Wolfgang said the Bobcats' biggest motivation at that point in the game was providing starting pitcher Kody Reeser with some help. The Towson commit struck out eight and allowed just one hit in a complete-game performance.
Reeser, who scored in the sixth inning after picking up a bunt single, said he was more frustrated with his own hitting than he was with his teammates prior to the Bobcats' rally. That didn't stop him from no-hitting the Mustangs through the game's first five innings.
"It's hard to pitch, especially if I'm struggling at the plate, but I try not to let that affect me," Reeser said. "My mentality was to the shut the door. No hits, no walks, no runs. When I went out for the seventh I was determined to shut the door."
Still in first place in their division, the Bobcats (10-4, 6-3 YAIAA Division II) have their sights set on the YAIAA and District 3 playoffs. Srebroski said a win over a team like South Western (7-7, 6-3 Division I) will boost the Bobcats confidence "a ton."
Despite the loss, South Western head coach Mike Resetar said the Mustangs can learn plenty from Wednesday's game. Not only did the Mustangs fail to generate any offense of their own, they had potential rallies in the fifth and sixth innings stymied when two separate base runners were picked off by Northeastern catcher Devin Blymire.
"We had opportunities when (Reeser) walked a couple guys and we just didn't execute," Resetar said. "Guys caught stealing, getting picked off. That's a little bit of a lack of focus and just poor execution.
"But I told our guys that's one of the best pitchers in the league and we went toe to toe with him. It's not a matter of can we do it, it's a matter of are we going to do it and we can."