Feb. 21, 2014
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – After narrowly falling in game one of its doubleheader to Missouri State, 9-8, Northern Illinois (0-5) was unable to capitalize on the same magic as they fell to New Mexico (3-2) in its first ever night game at Lobo Baseball Field, 12-0.
“New Mexico and their fans were fired up tonight. It was their home opener, under the lights, and they played well. We have to give them a lot of credit,” said Head Coach Ed Mathey. “Our starting pitcher was not up to the task for the second-straight game and they took it to us. We have to come back tomorrow with more energy and take it to Missouri State.”
The Huskies accounted for five hits in the game but left nine runners on the base path. New Mexico scored 10 runs in the opening four innings, scoring two in the first and third innings, and three more in the second and fourth.
Relief pitchers Anthony Andres (Western Springs, Ill./St. Rita), Ben Neumann (Verona, Wis./Verona Area) and TJ Schrader (Mackinaw, Ill./Illinois Central) combined for 3.2 scoreless innings, four strikeouts and zero walks while on the rubber.
At the plate, both Justin Fletcher (Pekin, Ill./Illinois Central) and Johnny Zubek (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) finished 1-for-3 at the plate with a single and a walk in the effort. Fletcher has now hit safely in all five of the Huskies games this season. Brandon Mallder (Brideview, Ill./St. Laurence) extended his hitting streak to three games as he finished 1-for-4 at the plate.
Through four appearances and 3.2 innings on the mound, Neumann has yet to surrender a run while striking out three batters.
The Huskies will return to the diamond tomorrow afternoon as they take on Missouri State in their third game of the Fuddrucker’s Lobo Invite. With first pitch set for 1 p.m. Central, NIU’s Jordan Ruckman (Kankakee, Ill./Herscher) will take the mound for the Huskies.