Feb. 17, 2013
LUBBOCK, Texas - Extra base hits lifted Northern Illinois to a 2-1 lead over Northern Colorado in the bottom of the third, but a homerun by the Bears in the sixth and a pair of hits in the seventh gave UNC the final lead, 3-2.
Northern Illinois literally started the bottom of the third inning with a bang, as designated hitter Micah McCulloch (Rochelle/Rochelle Township) led the frame with a solo homerun down the left field line, his first of his NIU career, to tie the game, 1-1.
Later in the inning and with two outs on him, Connor Duckhorn (Darien/Cowley County College) singled to left field to keep NIU alive at the plate. Alex Klonowski (Kearney, Mo./Kearney) followed by ripping a triple to left center field to drive in Duckhorn and give the Huskies the 2-1 advantage.
Great defense kept the lead for Northern Illinois in the top of the fourth as the Bears forced a play at home plate that the Huskies made to capture the first out of the inning, started with a pickoff attempt by pitcher Eli Anderson (Glenview/New Trier) to first base. With a runner on second, NIU got the lead out on a fielder's choice for the second putout and ended the inning by catching a line drive in centerfield.
UNC tied the game in the top of the sixth inning with a solo homer over the left field fence to tie things up, 2-2. The Bears then took their second lead of the ball game in the seventh on single up the middle, 3-2.
Northern Illinois continued to get runners on base in the seventh and eighth innings, with runners advancing to second and third on a pair of singles by Brian Sisler (DeKalb/DeKalb) and Duckhorn, and a walk by Jamison Wells (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly) following the seventh inning stretch. The Huskies were unable to score in the frame however and remained in the chase.
(Tinley Park/Andrew) singled to lead off the eighth inning but was stranded at first for the rest of the inning. Zimmerman finished 3-for-4 in the game to lead all hitters in the game.
On the mound, Anderson finished his day with three strikeouts and two walks in 6.2 innings of work. Of his 96 pitches, one shy of his career-high, the junior threw 59 strikes (.615) in his first loss of the season.
Sophomore Ben Neumann (Verona, Wis./Verona Area) got out of two bases loaded jams in the eighth and ninth innings to finish the game (1.1 innings), surrendering one hit, two walks and striking out one. Anthony Andres (Western Springs/St. Rita) threw another scoreless inning of work in immediate relief of Anderson, surrendering one hit in his four batters faced.
NIU (0-3) will close the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic against Texas Tech (3-0) later this afternoon.