March 17, 2007
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PALM BEACH, Fla. - Northern Illinois used two big innings to its advantage, including an eight-run seventh inning rally, to defeat 2006 NCAA participant Manhattan 14-10 in the final game of an eight-game spring trip to Florida. The Huskies went 5-3 during their week in the Sunshine State and will begin the northern part of their schedule at 7-7.
"Today was a good win for us and winning the final game on a trip always make the travel home better," said head coach Ed Mathey. "It was a good comeback win and we showed good resolve today, especially after having a stretch just a couple days ago where we played three games in 24 hours."
Trailing 9-6 in the seventh, NIU had four consecutive singles before Matt Behren walked to force in a run and Daniel Jewett delivered a RBI single. Two batters later, Jesse Seykora belted a grand slam home run, his sixth round-tripper of the year, to put the Huskies ahead 14-9.
Seykora, who extended his hit streak to a team-best 11 games, went 2-3 in the game with four RBI and three runs scored. Scott Simon went 3-for-5 and added a pair of RBI while Jewett drove in two on two hits and Jordin Hood totaled two hits and two runs scored.
Dave Nykiel's hitless inning of relief earned him his first win of the season. Matt German closed the game by working the final two innings.
NIU scored six runs in the second inning taking advantage of walks and RBI singles by Hood, Jewett and Pat Minogue
before Simon's single scored two more.
Starting pitcher Matt Jernstad went five innings, allowing five earned runs and striking out four.
The Huskies worn their "lucky" green jerseys to commemorate St. Patrick's Day. On Wednesday, the team will auction off the jerseys as part of the annual St. Patty's at Fatty's.
"Hopefully by getting the win in our green jerseys, people will be more interested in bidding on them," Mathey added. "The trip got us back to .500 and allowed us to play on a regular basis. That helps in getting us prepared for the upcoming MAC season."
The Huskies return to action with a Tuesday tilt at Chicago State before opening the conference schedule at home Friday, March 23 with the first of a three-game series against Ohio.
HUSKIE TRACKS ...
-NIU posted wins over a pair of 2006 NCAA Regional participants (Maine and Manhattan) during the week.
-Jesse Seykora's grand slam was the second for the Huskies on their spring trip. Scott Simon belted a "four-run homer" exactly one week prior in the March 10 win over Maine.
-Seykora hit .500 (16-for-32) with five home runs and 15 RBI in eight games in Florida.
-Simon delivered 14 RBI in eight games during the spring trip.
-NIU scored 90 runs in its eight games.
-The Huskies improved to 2-0 against Manhattan, also posting a victory during the 2002 season.