Baseball: April 2011 Archives

Welcome the Newest Addition to the Huskie Family

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RayNap.jpegFifth-year NIU pitching coach Ray Napientek and his wife Randi welcomed the newest member of the Huskie family this morning at 9:24 a.m.  Weighing in at eight pounds and 20.5 inches long, Katherine Anne Napientek and the family are doing well and resting.  The Napientek's second addition to the family makes three-year-old Kara a very excited big sister.  Congrats to the Napienteks!

NIU Baseball Highlights on WREX TV

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Missed some of the last weekend's action as NIU baseball grabbed first place in the Mid-American Conference West Division with a 2-1 series win over Toledo?  Don't worry, Jude Wilbers, from WREX Channel 13 in Rockford, was there to get highlights of Game One.  For video of the exciting 4-3 walk-off Huskie win, click here.
RayNap.jpegAssistant coach Ray Napientek has been handling Ed Mathey's pitching staff for five years.  During his experience, he has developed a knack for how to handle each pitcher and pitching staff differently.  Yesterday, the Northern Star's Andrew Singer chatted with the Huskie pitching coach to find out what his secrets to success are.  Click here to read.

Ralph McKinzie Field's Facelift

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The Ralph.jpegIf you have been out to Ralph McKinzie Field this season, you may have noticed some changes.  If you haven't been out to "The Ralph" yet, there have been some changes, and the field is looking as sharp as ever.  Since being built in 1965, the field has gone through several modifications.  The latest upgrade improved the warning track, infield, bullpen, mound and home plate ring, among other smaller changes.  For more info and pictures of the improvements, check out this page done by the Midwest Athletic Fields, the company that worked on the field during the fall and winter months.

Midseason Update on New NCAA Bat Performance

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Prior to the 2011 baseball season, the NCAA mandated new regulations for the metal bats used during games, focusing on slowing down the ball's exit speed off the barrel.  With the bats expected to perform more like wood than metal, the NCAA baseball community figured to see a change from a high-powered offensive game to an execution-and-defense-oriented game.  A little over halfway through the season, the Northern Star's Andrew Singer caught up with some of the Huskies to get an update on how the new bats have changed the game.  Click here to read Singer's article.
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Jeremy Gonzales made history yesterday, becoming just the second NIU pitcher ever to be named National Pitcher of the Week. Today, "Gonzo" is featured on the front page of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association website, as seen above.  For a first-hand glimpse of the site, click here.

To earn the honor, Gonzales hurled a three-hit complete game shutout on Sunday against Miami (Ohio). For more details on the senior's impressive accomplishment, click here.