Coach Neil McPhee tried to make it feel like any other baseball weekend trip for his Northeastern Huskies.
And when Methuen’s Chris Carmain dominated Notre Dame at South Bend Saturday, allowing only two runs to the Irish over seven innings for a 6-2 Huskies’ victory, things seemed to fall in line.
Then Andover freshman Dustin Hunt took the mound Sunday, and suddenly things changed. Not that Hunt wasn’t used to it. He’s been the Sunday starter most of the spring.
But this one was different. The opposing pitcher for the Irish just happened to be Pat Connaughton, like Hunt a graduate of St. John’s Prep.
Connaughton was an Eagles’ two-sport legend and has carried the tradition to Notre Dame.
“I transferred in to the Prep from Andover High right after he graduated, so we never played on the same team, but I had heard all about what he had done there,” said Hunt. “He was the one name I knew. And he’s played really well -- in both sports -- at Notre Dame, too.”
Hunt vs. Connaughton — a St. John’s Prep alumni classic — was on yesterday, and the freshman from Andover got the better of the junior from Arlington, posting a 4-0 shutout win.
“It was a great day for us and a great weekend, taking two of three from them,” said Hunt, who went seven innings on 93 pitches, allowing seven hits and a walk, while striking out eight.
“I knew I had to have my best, and I had all my pitches working. When they put it in play, the guys played great defense behind me.”
Salem’s Josh Treff (2-for-4) provided the key hit in the Huskies’ three-run fourth, smacking a two-run single with one out and the bases loaded to break things open.