Feb. 28, 2009
Tempe, Ariz. - A day after outhitting Baseball America No. 8 Arizona State and losing, the Northern Illinois baseball team did the same against No. 15 Missouri, but got the 5-2 win on Saturday Afternoon at the DeMarini Invitational at Packard Stadium. The Huskies (2-5) scored their five runs on 12 hits and held the Tigers (1-7) to just two runs on nine hits.
The win for the Huskies marks their first all-time win against Missouri in their first try and first win versus a Big 12 opponent since defeating Texas Tech 8-5 on February 23, 2007. NIU also beat a ranked team for the first time since March 14, 2001, when the Huskies beat No. 13 Stetson 3-2 in 10 innings.
"The big thing is that we are working ourselves closer to being a good baseball team," said NIU head coach Ed Mathey. "If you go out and play an early schedule like this and execute against teams like this, it helps in the long run. It's a good win and hopefully we can parlay that into a win against Oregon State tomorrow."
NIU senior starter Andy Deain (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge) earned his first win (1-0) of the year and his first as a starter by going six innings, giving up an earned run on six hits with a walk and five strikeouts. For the second day in a row, the Huskie bullpen came in and gave up no runs as sophomores Tom Zelasko (Lansing, Ill./Mt. Carmel) and Zach Oates (Wheaton, Ill./North) and junior Dave Reynolds (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) combined for three innings of work, allowing three hits a walk along with two strikeouts, both by Reynolds, who also earned his second save of the year.
"The pitchers did a great job today of throwing in the zone and challenging hitters," Mathey said. "They were able to hang in there and compete despite some errors being made in the field. They made up for the mistakes on the mound.
"Deain worked hard in the first inning on a tough error that added pitches to his pitch count," said Mathey. "He did a great job of establishing pace and throwing strikes. Tom, Zach and Dave also did a great job for the second game in a row. It was outstanding to get that type of performance from our pitchers."
Reynolds led the Huskies in hitting for the second game in a row, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Junior Jordin Hood (Hawthorn Woods, Ill./Lake Zurich) and Freshmen Troy White (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) and Alex Beckmann (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) each had two hits. Hood also score two runs, stole a base and drove in a run. Senior Justin Behm (Downers Grove, Ill./North) and sophomore Joe Etcheverry (Bakersfield, Calif./Centennial) each had an RBI as well.
"We also had 12 hits at the plate which was good to see," said Mathey. "Alex Beckmann did a great job in the lead off spot, working the count and setting the table for the rest of the guys. It was a good win for us against a Big 12 team that was a preseason pick to go far in the NCAA tournament."
Tiger starter Kelly Fick (0-2) was tagged with the loss after going six innings, surrendering three earned runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Aaron Senne and Michael Liberto each had a pair of hits for Missouri while Senne and Ben Turner drove in a run apiece.
NIU took a short-lived one run lead in the top of the first after Beckmann singled to lead off the game and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Pat Minogue (Crystal Lake, Ill./Central) to set up Hood's RBI double. However, the Tigers responded with their only two runs of the game in the bottom half to go up 2-1 on RBI singles from Turner and Senne.
The Huskies knotted the game, 2-2, in the fourth on an interference call that allowed Reynolds to score. After Reynolds led the inning off with a single, White came up with two outs and singled through the right side. Reynolds was then interfered with as he was trying to score from first.
NIU then took the lead, 3-2, in the sixth by scoring another run. Hood doubled for the second time to start the inning and Reynolds singled, moving Hood to third. Behm then grounded into a double play to score Hood.
The Huskies scored two more runs in the eighth on three hits to go up 5-2. With one out, Hood was hit by a pitch and then stole second. Reynolds' single on the next play moved Hood to third and then Behm's RBI single drove in Hood. Etcheverry then followed with a double to score Reynolds.
The Huskies finish their weekend at the DeMarini Invite tomorrow with a contest against Oregon State (3-1) at 11 a.m. CT. Fans can follow the game live via GameTracker on www.niuhuskies.com.
- NIU has had at least one player in each game record two or more hits.
- Zach Oates' last four appearances have been scoreless. During that span he has pitched three innings, giving up two walks and one hit along with four strikeouts.
- Dave Reynolds continued his scoreless streak to begin the year that now stands at six innings. He has given up three hits and two walks along with recording 11 strikeouts.
- Alex Beckmann registered his first multi-hit game of his career.
- Jordin Hood has had four multi-hit games this year and is 12-for-24 at the plate.
- Troy White recorded his third multi-hit game of his young career.