March 16, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Northern Illinois (3-15) bounced back from a 1-0 deficit to take a 7-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning against Lipscomb (7-9) but were unable to hold the lead and fell to Lipscomb, 12-8. The Huskies combined for 13 hits in the game, three of which came from Jeff Zimmerman (Tinley Park/Andrew).
“We swung the bats well enough to win today but our bullpen was not able to hold the lead,” said Head Coach Ed Mathey after the game. “We can’t rely on our starters all the time if we want to win games, we have to get better in the bullpen. Credit to Lipscomb though, they did a good job battling back at the plate with two strikes on them to get hits and score runs.”
The Huskies found themselves in a 1-0 deficit after the first inning of the game after Lipscomb’s Taylor Stewart singled to score Joey Cecere from second base.
NIU tied the game in the top of the fifth inning after Connor Duckhorn (Darien/Cowley County) singled through the right side to lead the inning. Freshman Tommy Hook (Lockport/Lockport Township) knotted the game when he drove home Duckhorn on a single to left field.
In the following frame, Northern Illinois scored six runs to jump out to a six run lead, 7-1. The Huskies combined for seven hits in the inning and reached base on one error. NIU was one run shy of tying its season-high for runs in an inning. Landon Tenhagen (Burlington, Wis./Madison Area TC) doubled down the left field line on the first pitch with runners on second and third to sustain the NIU run. Northern Illinois left one runner on base in the frame.
The Bison responded in the bottom half of the inning with seven runs of their own to take an 8-7 lead after six stanzas. Lipscomb added four runs, two in the seventh and eighth to increase its lead to 12-7.
Northern Illinois attempted to mount a comeback in the top of the eighth inning and were able to score one run, led by a leadoff double by Micah McCulloch
(Rochelle/Rochelle Township). McCulloch would score on a wild pitch after he was advanced to third on a single by Nate Ruzich
(Joliet/South Suburban College).
Jamison Wells (Combined Lock, Wis./Kimberly) finished the game 1-for-4 at the plate with one walk and a stolen base, putting him just one shy of tying the all-time mark at NIU. Zimmerman went 3-for-4 and scored one run, with Duckhorn scoring two runs in his 1-for-3, one walk day. Zach Badgley (McHenry/McHenry) pitched 1.1 innings with zero hits and zero runs.
The Huskies will close the Music City Tournament tomorrow afternoon at Belmont. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.