The North­eastern base­ball team will play the Boston Red Sox on Sat­urday after­noon in the club’s annual spring-​​training exhi­bi­tion game in Florida. For senior co-​​captain Matt Miller, the expe­ri­ence brings back vivid mem­o­ries, including the time the left­fielder chatted about hit­ting and col­lege life with Sox cen­ter­fielder Jacoby Ellsbury.

It’s one of those days when you feel like a little kid playing base­ball,” Miller said. “This will be my fifth year doing it, and I’m just as excited now as I was the first time.”

On the first pitch of last year’s exhi­bi­tion game, former infielder Ryan Maguire launched a home run. This year, the Huskies will help the Red Sox cel­e­brate the opening of Jet­Blue Park in Fort Myers, Fla. Game time is 2:35 p.m. “Our players will be sky high,” noted head coach Neil McPhee.

The Huskies opened the season last weekend with an encour­aging series against the  Jack­sonville Dol­phins. Though North­eastern lost two of three games, Miller said, “I saw a lot of fight in our guys.” McPhee was impressed by his club’s 8–1 vic­tory in the series finale.

Back in Boston, McPhee said the mild winter weather allowed the team to prac­tice out­side for a couple weeks in Feb­ruary. Typ­i­cally, the team’s first out­door action of the season comes down in Florida. “It has really put us ahead in our prepa­ra­tion,” he said.

This year’s team fea­tures a bal­ance of young talent (six of nine starters are freshmen or sopho­mores) and vet­eran lead­er­ship. McPhee said Miller — a two-​​year cap­tain and the club’s No. 3 hitter — is one of the best pres­sure players he has coached in 26 sea­sons as skipper.

Last season, leadoff hitter Aaron Bar­bosa won the Colo­nial Ath­letic Association’s Rookie of the Year award, bat­ting .335, stealing a team-​​record 29 bases and posting a flaw­less fielding percentage.

McPhee said the team’s offen­sive output would hinge on its ability to man­u­fac­ture runs with speed, timely hit­ting and smart baserun­ning. Con­fer­ence play in the Colo­nial Ath­letic Asso­ci­a­tion will be par­tic­u­larly important.

Our goal is to make the con­fer­ence tour­na­ment, and then go as far as we can to win the cham­pi­onship,” McPhee said.

Fol­lowing Saturday’s matchup, the Huskies will stay in Florida to play a slate of games, including a double-​​header against Bowling Green State Uni­ver­sity. The club will kick off con­fer­ence play next weekend when it travels to Vir­ginia to face William & Mary.

Northeastern’s Office of Alumni Rela­tions will also be hosting a pregame cookout out­side Jet­Blue Park before the Northeastern-​​Red Sox game for an expected 750 alumni, stu­dents, family and friends – the event’s largest turnout to date.