Northern Illinois Unable to Overcome Hawai'i in 7-3 Loss

GO HUSKIES Jeff Thomas drove in two runs of the Huskies three runs against Hawai'i.
Jeff Thomas drove in two runs of the Huskies three runs against Hawai'i.

Feb. 28, 2008

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SURPRISE, Ariz. - Hawai'i took a 4-0 lead and never trailed in a 7-3 victory over Northern Illinois Thursday night at Surprise Stadium. The Huskies (0-2), who played a school-record 16-inning game prior to the nitecap, got within a run with a three-run seventh but were unable to take a lead in the contest.

"They hit the ball well and took advantage of their opportunities," said head coach Ed Mathey. "We got back into the game with three runs in the seventh but you have to stop the other team after you score. Overall, it's a matter of execution for us and we didn't take advantage of opportunities when we had them today."

Hawai'i (5-3) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by Jeffrey Van Doornum. The Rainbows added a run in the third on Vinnie Catricala's RBI single down the right field line.

In the sixth, Hawai'i loaded the bases and extended its lead to 4-0 on a sacrifice fly by Matt Roquemore and a bases loaded walk to Jonathan Hee.

Northern Illinois struck for three runs in the top of the seventh to draw within 4-3. With runners at second and third, Jeff Thomas (Loves Park, Ill./Harlem) delivered a single to left that scored Joe Buonavolanto (Willowbrook, Ill./Hinsdale South) and Pat Minogue (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) to cut the deficit in half. Two batters later, Jordin Hood (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich) tripled to left center to score Anthony Maziur (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest), was pinch-ran for Thomas.

The Rainbows extended their lead back to four in the bottom of the seventh with a RBI triple by Catricala and a two-run home run to straightaway center field by Van Doornum.

NIU starter Matt Jernstad (Oswego, Ill./Oswego), who absorbed the loss (0-1), struck out seven in 5.2 innings of work before giving way to the bullpen.

Hawai'i starter Matt Daly (2-0) picked up the win after going 6.2 innings with six strikeouts and three earned runs.

NIU returns to action this weekend at Southern Illinois (2-2) beginning with a 3 p.m. doubleheader Saturday and concluding with a 4 p.m. single game Sunday. All three games of the series will be played at Rent One Ballpark in Marion, Ill.

-Freshman Joe Etcheverry recorded his first collegiate hit when he delivered a pinch-hit single in the ninth.
-At 6'7", freshman Zach Oates became the tallest Huskie player to appear in a game since 1980.
-Dave Nykiel was the lone Huskie pitcher to appear in both games Thursday.




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