March 24, 2007
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DeKALB, Ill. - Bobby Stevens drew a two-out bases loaded walk in the bottom of the 10th inning that scored Justin Behm to lift Northern Illinois to a 5-4 victory over Ohio Saturday afternoon at Ralph McKinzie Field. The win was the fourth consecutive for the Huskies and upped their season mark to 10-7 overall and 2-0 in the MAC.
"In this league you need to defend your home field by winning series," said head coach Ed Mathey. "We have done that now and put ourselves in position to have a chance to win all three games. Victories now mean as much as they do in May."
Tied at four after nine, Behm led off the NIU 10th with a single before Jordin Hood walked and Joe Buonavalonto executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Brett Kellam hit a screaming line drive that was gloved with a leaping grab by Ohio shortstop Hayden Johnston. The next Huskie hitter, Daniel Jewett, drew a walk to set the stage for Stevens, who declined a 3-1 offering from Daniel Utts to bring home the win.
put the Huskies ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth with his seventh home run of the season, a two-run shot over the left field fence.
The Bobcats took advantage of a pair of NIU errors in the seventh inning and scored three runs for a 3-2 lead. A Chris Klimko RBI single in the eighth put Ohio ahead 4-2.
NIU answered in its half of the eighth and evened the score at four when pinch-hitter Dave Reynolds wrapped out a two-out two-run single that knotted the game.
The score remained deadlocked until the Huskies scored in the 10th to win their first extra-inning contest of the season.
Andy Deain (1-1) notched the win with two scoreless innings of relief work. Starter Brandon Copp had a strong outing, going 6.0 innings and allowing six hits and one earned run while striking out three against one walk. Andrew Shisila (0-1) took the loss for the Bobcats (9-9, 0-2).
Offensively, NIU was paced by three hits from Danny Reed, who extended his team-best hit streak to 13 games. Behm went two-for-two and scored two runs.
Sunday's series finale is set for a 1 p.m. start at McKinzie Field.
HUSKIE TRACKS ...
-NIU has won four straight games against Ohio and Saturday's win was the fifth consecutive March MAC victory for the Huskies.
-The Huskies have won three of their last four extra-inning contests over the past two seasons.
-Jesse Seykora's seventh home run in 17 games, eclipses his 2006 season total of six in 52 games.
-NIU belted out 10+ hits for the 11th time in 17 contests and the third time in the last four games.
-Dave Reynolds has six RBI on six hits in his 12 at-bats this season.
-Andy Deain has yet to allow an earned run in 10.2 innings over eight appearances in 2007.