April 5, 2013
MT. PLEASANT, Mich. – Trailing 5-0 in the top of the seventh inning , Northern Illinois rallied back within two runs of Central Michigan, 5-3, but the Huskies (9-18, 4-3 MAC) couldn’t account for anymore runs on the Chippewas (12-17, 3-4 MAC) and fell, 6-3. Junior Landon Tenhagen (Burlington, Wis./Madison Area TC) went 2-for-5 at the plate with a double and two RBI off of CMU ace Jordan Foley.
“From a hitting and pitching approach standpoint, this might’ve been the worst game we’ve played in the last two or three weeks. Our defense wasn’t sharp either” said Head Coach Ed Mathey. “We put together a couple hits and walks to get runners on base in six innings of play but strikeouts hurt us and we weren’t able to get anything going.
“We just have to come back tomorrow and even the series like we did against Kent State and give ourselves a chance to win the series.”
The Huskies found themselves in a 3-0 deficit after two innings and a 5-0 hole after two errors in the field advanced and scored the CMU runners.
With a lead on his side Chippewa pitcher Foley, who ranks ninth in the country in earned run average at 0.94, continued his dominance on the Huskies as he fanned 11 NIU batters.
Northern Illinois put runners on base but were unable to string anything together until the seventh inning when the Huskies cracked Foley’s safe.
A leadoff double to the left centerfield gap by Nate Ruzich (Joliet/South Suburban College) started things off for NIU. With two outs, Alex Klonowski (Kearney, Mo./Kearney) reached base on a throwing error by the shortstop to send Ruzich home. A single by Jeff Zimmerman (Tinley Park/Andrew) put runners on first and second for Tenhagen, who doubled to left center to put the Huskies within two runs, 5-3.
After the three NIU runs, Foley stepped off the mound to make way for the bullpen, which ended the Huskies inning. Central Michigan hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the seventh to increase its lead, 6-3.
In the ninth and needing three runs to continue the game, Klonowski singled up the middle and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches. NIU was unable to score Klonowski from third however and the Huskies fell, 6-3.
Pitcher Jon Savarise (Lincolnshire/Stevenson) was flawless in the eighth stanza in relief, surrendering zero runs, hits and walks. At the plate Ruzich finished 2-for-4 with a double and run, Klonowski finished 2-for-5 with a run scored and Zimmerman batted 1-for-4 with a run and a walk.
Klonowski is 12-for-21 (.571) in Northern Illinois’ last five games.
The Huskies will continue the series with Central Michigan tomorrow afternoon Mt. Pleasant, Mich. with first pitch slated for noon.