Jake Farrell focuses on hitting the ball hard.
Through the first 23 games of the 2019 season, the 22-year-old senior from Westwood paces the Northeastern baseball team in home runs (5), hits (29), RBIs (22), and total bases (50) while hitting at a .305 clip out of the third spot in the lineup.
A year ago, the 6-foot-4-inch, 215-pound lefthanded-hitting Farrell led the Huskies with 11 home runs, 63 RBIs, 142 total bases, and a .631 slugging percentage during NU’s run to the NCAA Division 1 tourney.
A former three-sport standout at Xaverian Brothers — he owns the school record for quarterback wins for a vaunted program that produced the Hasselbeck brothers — Farrell has not experienced a losing baseball season at NU.
At 12-11 overall (2-1 Colonial Athletic Association), the Huskies are aiming for their third straight CAA regular season championship.
The Globe got a chance to catch up with Farrell after NU’s opening CAA series against William & Mary.
Q. You lead the team in home runs. How do you generate your power?
A. It kind of just comes from having a good approach and sticking to the basics with my swing. In baseball, it’s weird because if you try and do too much, things get tricky, so I try to stay simple and stick to the basic mechanics that I’ve had since I was 10 years old. It sounds weird to say but the home runs are usually accidents. I try to hit the ball hard wherever it’s pitched and if it goes out, it goes out.
Q. What type of work do you do in-season and in the offseason to maintain your strength?
A. During the season we have two or three lifts a week and during the offseason we have three or four, usually four. My strength coach, Jason Aguiar, has always been really good with making sure my strength stays up. I work out during the summer and try to put my body in the best position possible to succeed.
Q. Is it ever a thought whether you focus on contact or power in a given at-bat?
A. I just try to put the team in the best position to succeed, whether that calls for leading the inning off with a single or getting on base, however possible. When you have runners in scoring position, you’re trying to drag the ball in certain places, but I just try to manufacture runs for our team in whatever way possible.
Q. How do you keep plays in the field clean?
A. I think a couple plays could have been errors on me, so I don’t know how perfect that really is, but it’s really staying locked in. Coach [Mike] Glavine always puts an emphasis on fielding during practice. First base is a bit of an easier position to play in that you don’t have to make a throw over, so I try to stay in front of the ball and do all the things my coaches have taught me in practice and that puts us in a good position to play well.
Q. What was your experience like in the Cape Cod League?
A. Two summers ago I played for about a month. That’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid going to Cape Cod League games. I actually have a Cape house in Harwich, so I’ve been watching the [Harwich] Mariners play since I was 5 years old. It was really cool to get to put on that uniform and see things from a different perspective.
Q. Do you model your game after players in Major League Baseball?
A. Last year, I tried to model my swing after [Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman] Cody Bellinger. Coach [Mike Glavine] and I talked about how we have the same body frame so I tried to model my swing after him. Not really anybody else in particular, but just seeing how hard some of those guys play. You see Mookie Betts play and he’s always hustling, and never taking anything for granted so in that aspect of baseball, I try to play hard every chance I get.
Q. As a communications major, what has been your hardest class at Northeastern?
A. Principles of Organizational Communication because there was so much that went into it. Once the season starts, we travel a lot so you try to keep your studies up and buckle down when you can. It was a really hard class for me, I ended up doing pretty well, but I mean at a school like Northeastern, every class I take is hard to some extent, so I try to stay on top of my work and do the best that I can.
Thomas Herron can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.