March 28, 2007
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PEORIA, Ill. - Northern Illinois used a four-run first and never trailed in an 9-3 victory over Bradley for its sixth straight victory Tuesday afternoon at O'Brien Field. The Huskies improved to 12-7 and ended the Braves' seven-game win streak ahead of the doubleheader's nitecap.
NIU wasted no time getting on the scoreboard and jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first. With the bases loaded, Jeff Thomas, who had reached on a single, scored from the third on a passed ball. Scott Simon and Danny Reed then had consecutive RBI singles scoring Bobby Stevens and Jesse Seykora.
The Huskies re-loaded the bases later in the frame and had their threat of further offense temporarily interrupted by a 29-minute rain delay. When play resumed Justin Behm's sacrifice fly plated Simon as NIU ran up a 4-0 advantage.
After Bradley scored two in the first and one in the second to get within 4-3, NIU answered with a fourth inning tally. Bobby Stevens doubled to drive in Anthony Maziur, who was pinch running for Marc Besteman.
Starter Mark Badgley went three innings before giving way to Andy Deain (2-1), who pitched a scoreless fourth to pick up his second win of the season. In the middle of the fifth with the Huskies ahead 5-3, a rain delay of 1:31 stopped play again.
NIU added to its lead after the long delay, scoring three times in the sixth. Jordin Hood
scored on a wild pitch before Simon stepped to the plate and singled home Thomas and Stevens for an 8-3 advantage.
Jordin Hood belted a deep solo home run, his third of the season, over the left field fence in the seventh to cap the scoring at 9-3.
Matt German preserved the win by retiring all five batters faced in relief to finish the contest.
Simon paced the Huskie offense with a 3-for-4 effort with three RBI while Thomas equaled his career-high with three hits.
"I am happy with the ways we swung the bats today and I thought our pitching and defense did a good job especially in tough conditions," said head coach Ed Mathey. "We started the game very well offensively before the first rain delay. I would have liked to have kept that momentum going because we were locked in at the plate."
HUSKIE TRACKS ...
-Danny Reed hit safely in his 15th consecutive game, tying him for the longest hitting streak on record at NIU.
-The Huskies have won four consecutive meetings over the Braves dating back to 2004.
-NIU, the MAC's leading hitting team, topped 10 hits for the 13th time this season.
-Mark Badgley made the start nearly two years to the day from his outing at Bradley that resulted in a season-ending skull fracture as the result of a line drive.