By Bill Burt
---- — BOSTON – Andover resident Dustin Hunt pitched seven scoreless innings and recorded a career-high nine strikeouts as the Northeastern University baseball team completed its three-game sweep over Niagara with a 7-0 win on Sunday afternoon at Friedman Diamond.
Hunt, who graduated from St. John’s Prep last May, was dominant, allowing only three hits and a walk in getting his first collegiate win.
Hunt worked out of a few early jams, including a baserunner on third base with one out, but he got two ground ball outs to come out unscatched. Hunt also induced a double-play grounder killing a two-on, one-out rally in the sixth inning for Niagara.
Temperatures were in 30s, close to the freezing point. He threw 90 pitches overall, hitting between 88 mph and 91 mph.
”I was a little nervous going in, concerned about gripping pitches,” said Hunt. “But once I started warming up I realized I had a good feel of the ball. I had handwarmers too, which helped.”
In fact, it was a big weekend for Northeastern players who hail from the Merrimack Valley via St. John’s.
Methuen’s Chris Carmain struck out a career-high eight batters, also a career-high, in doubleheader win on Saturday for the Huskies, allowing one earned run over six innings in the 6-2 win. Carmain, a senior, is 2-2 with a 1.31 ERA thus far for the 7-8 Huskies.
”I’ve never been around a person who works as hard as Chris does,” said Hunt of the Northeastern captain. “I’ve tried to follow everything he does. He’s our leader and he’s pitched really well.”
While Hunt has a few memorable performances already as a freshman, yesterday was a little extra special because it was his first victory as a college player.
His parents, Don and Kristen, who hadn’t missed a game before yesterday, unfortunately missed this as they were on a trip to Spain with Dustin’s younger brother and sister.
”It’s definitely is good feeling. It makes you feel like the hard work was worth it,” said Hunt. “But it’s way too early. I have a lot more to prove.”
The Huskies continue their home schedule by hosting Brown on Wed., March 19, at 3 p.m.