March 9, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Junior Alex Klonowski pitched his second-straight complete game for Northern Illinois (2-11) as the Huskies fell to Southern Illinois (7-6) in game one of their doubleheader, 3-2. Klonowski became the first pitcher since Trevor Feeney in March 2007 to pitch consecutive complete games for NIU.
Only 13 games into the season Klonowski has thrown the most complete games by a Northern Illinois pitcher since 2010. The Kearney, Mo., native fanned three batters and only allowed two walks in the game with 11 hits scattered.
"Alex pitched outstanding today and we thought that he was in a position to close today. He was fresh and throwing very well late into the ball game," said Head Coach Ed Mathey, "we have to give credit to SIU for sticking with it and doing what they had to score and win.
NIU started the game determined as Jamison Wells (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly) led off with a single and stretched it to second base following an error by the left fielder. He went to third base on a pass ball and was driven home by Jeff Zimmerman's (Tinley Park/Andrew) RBI single to the shortstop to give the Huskies an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
Southern Illinois responded in the bottom of the fourth inning with three-straight hits to score one run on a single by Cody Daily and tie the game, 1-1.
Northern Illinois regained the lead in the top of the fifth inning when it loaded the bases on walks by Brandon Mallder (Bridgeview/St. Laurence) and Zimmerman, and a single by Tommy Hook (Lockport/Lockport Township). On an 0-1 pitch, Klonowski drove in Mallder on a fielder's choice to the shortstop to put the Huskies back on top, 2-1.
Klonowski continued his work on the bump for NIU, working late into the ball game with a low-pitch count. The defense behind Klonowski played strong as it did not commit an error for the eighth time this season.
The junior stepped back onto the bump in the bottom of the ninth inning and struck out Donny Duchinsky for the first out of the inning. The Salukis hit back-to-back singles and Brock Harding doubled to left center field to tie the game, 2-2. Jake Welch ended the game with sacrifice fly to right field to end the game with a walk off RBI, 3-2.
Both Zimmerman and Klonowski collected RBI in the game with one-hit apiece. Hook also had a hit with a sacrifice bunt to his credit as well.
Following game two of the doubleheader, the Huskies will return to action Tuesday March 12 at Murray State for a two game midweek series.