Huskies Split Doubleheader with Ohio

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April 17, 2011

Game One Final Stats | Game One Final Box in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Game Two Final Stats | Game Two Final Box in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

G1: Ohio 7, Northern Illinois 5


G2: Northern Illinois 14, Ohio 10
 Bob Wren Stadium | Athens, Ohio

G 1
1 2 3
4
5
6
7
8
9
R
H
E
NIU 0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
2
5
10
1
OU 0
0
1
0
1
2
2
1
X
7
10
2

W: Choban (3-3) L: Barry (3-2) S: Stage (1)
Box Score | Box Score Get Acrobat Reader
Attendance: 431
G 2
1 2 3
4
5
6
7
8
9
R
H
E
NIU 4
0
0
0
10
4
0
0
1
19
17
1
OU 4
2
3
0
1
0
0
0
0
10
15
2

W: Manville (5-1) L: Moulton (1-5)
Box Score | Box Score Get Acrobat Reader
Attendance: 454
 Player of the Doubleheader

Troy White
3-for-7 (.429)
8 RBI
3 BB
3 R
2 HR
1 HBP

 Baseball Quick Links

· 2011 Schedule/Results

· 2011 Statistics

· Head Coach Ed Mathey

 

ATHENS, Ohio - With the series at stake in Sunday’s doubleheader at Bob Wren Stadium, Northern Illinois split with Ohio, losing 7-5 and winning 19-10, to give the Huskies their third Mid-American Conference series win in a row.

The day started for NIU with the close of several streaks. Entering Game One, the Huskies (17-17, 8-4 MAC) had won five straight games, eight consecutive on the road and three in a row in MAC play. But all three runs are now back to one apiece after the Huskies salvaged Game Two.

What does remain is that NIU is 17-7 over its last 24 games, 8-4 in MAC competition and has won three consecutive MAC series, three telling marks of a solid club that overcame a near bump in the road this weekend, quite literally if you consider Thursday's travel debacle and having to play a doubleheader just two days later. The last time the Huskies claimed three or more conference series in a row was in 2007 (won four straight series to start the season), which is also the last time NIU has had this many league wins this late in the schedule.

"That's exactly what we needed to do," said NIU head coach Ed Mathey of his team's third consecutive MAC series win. "We talk all the time about the nine-week season representing a baseball game. Wins are important no matter when you get them. We are finished with the East Division and sitting at 8-4 is a good thing. It's a good time to settle in and play the West Division from here out. By no means are we where we need and want to be, but we are in a good place right now."

In the first game of the day, a furious five-run rally over the last two innings was not enough for the Huskies to overcome a 6-0 deficit. Tom Barry gave NIU seven frames on the mound but was outpitched by Brent Choban, who held the Huskies to three runs on eight hits and two walks with six strikeouts in 7.2 innings.

The Bobcats (16-20, 3-9 MAC) scratched the six runs (five earned) off Barry in four different innings on nine hits and four walks. Ohio started the scoring in the third with an RBI single by Kory Burkhart. Two innings later, a leadoff error ended up costing NIU an unearned run on a bases-loaded double play ball that would have ended a scoreless inning. Instead, OU grabbed a 2-0 lead and tripled it over the next two innings.

Back-to-back doubles by Taylor Emody and Dan Ward to start the sixth gave Ohio its third run. Two outs later, Wes O'Neill singled home a run. Ward then launched a two-run homer in the seventh to give OU a six-run lead.

NIU finally answered in the eighth with three runs, all coming on a two-out bases-loaded double by Brett Frantini. But the Bobcats got a run back in the bottom half with help from a balk, two walks and three wild pitches by Tom Zelasko.

Making the game really interesting, the Huskies loaded the bases in the ninth with one out. Troy White drew a walk to cut the deficit to 7-4. After Jeff Zimmerman struck out, Brian Riegler delivered an RBI infield single. Already with the three-run double under his belt, Ohio brought in Tyler Stage to face Frantini, and Stage won the game with a swinging strikeout to pick up his first save of the season.

Choban improved to 3-3 with the win, while Barry fell to 3-2 to end a personal two-game winning streak. However, the lefty did last at least seven innings for the third straight start and had four or more strikeouts for the fifth consecutive start.

"We just waited too long to get going in Game One," said Mathey. "For doing it all in the last two innings, we had a chance, though. Choban was throwing pretty well early in the game. He commanded three pitches for strikes. When he had to make a good pitch, he made it. We had him on the ropes a couple of times, but just couldn't get to him. He threw a nice ball game.

"Tommy wasn't as effective or sharp as he has been. He made some good pitches, but they did a nice job on him in the sixth and seventh. He gave us everything he could today. Unfortunately, we didn't get him enough offensive support to get them out of their comfort zone. It was a good thing for him to give us seven innings in the first of a doubleheader, though."

Game Two started off strangely and signaled the high-scoring affair that was to follow. Both teams plated four runs in the first frame, three of which for NIU came off White's first career home run, a three-run shot. But then Ohio kept scoring, adding two in the second and three in the third. Oddly, the first eight scores came off the MAC's hottest hurler in Jeremy Gonzales, making the reigning National Pitcher of the Week a non-factor in the game, as he surrendered the runs on eight hits and four walks with three strikeouts in just two innings.

Prior to the game, Gonzales had a three-game winning streak and 25.2-inning scoreless streak, which promptly ended at 26 after a three-run homer by Emody in the first inning.

"Jeremy was up in the zone and wasn't locating his fastball," said Mathey. "It was a windy day with the wind blowing out; they swung free and easy. We punched them in the nose and they came right back in that first inning. I had to make the change because Jeremy wasn't being effective. He'll be back and fine; just had a bad day."

The strangeness of the game came to a climax in the fifth, though. Down 9-4, NIU rallied for 10 runs to take a five-run lead. Alex Jones became the first Huskie hitter to gather a pair of hits in the same inning since Jamison Wells produced two singles in the sixth inning at Iowa on April 21, 2010. The Kansas native began the frame with a single to left, and after a Joe Etcheverry double, scored on a Zimmerman one-out single. Jordan Rishavy kept the inning going with a fielder's choice RBI grounder to second that scored Etcheverry and moved Zimmerman to second as second baseman Bryan Barnes made an error on the play.

"The fifth inning was a combination of a couple things: timely hits and a couple big hits," Mathey said. "Their relief pitcher came in and we jumped on him. We took advantage of a couple walks and benefited from what could have been a double play ball on that error. Not only did that inning get us back in to the game, it gave us a little moment. Then we added four more and we were feeling good. It was pretty good to see 10 runs in that fifth inning."

With two outs, Tom Kotis delivered an RBI single to score Zimmerman and the Huskies started to do some real damage after that. Following a walk to Wells, Jones smashed a two-run single, and after Etcheverry was hit by a pitch, White unleashed his second homer, a grand slam to left field that capped the frame.

Ohio answered with a run in the bottom half of the fifth on a Ward RBI single, but NIU followed its best inning of the year, and first 10-run frame since that sixth inning in Iowa, with four more in the sixth. Wells started the scoring with an RBI double, Alex Beckmann followed with a two-run single and Etcheverry concluded the scoring with an RBI single.

Fresh off a victory at Illinois State on Tuesday as a starter, Tony Manville finished the game in relief for the Huskies to pick up his team-best fifth (5-1) win of the year. The junior came into the game having won each of his last three starts, and essentially picked up his fourth straight in what turned out to be an outing much like a start. The Iowa transfer threw the final seven innings of the game allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and three walks with two strikeouts, giving him a new career-long appearance and his best in a Huskie uniform.

During his current winning streak, Manville sports a 5-0 record, giving up 17 runs (15 earned) on 34 hits and 13 walks with 21 strikeouts in 30 innings.

"Tony was outstanding today," Mathey said. "It was a hitter's day and he was ahead in the count, down in the zone and mixing his breaking stuff and changeup. He gave us a great shot in the arm when we needed him to. He stemmed the tide for us and let us get back into it."

Extending his hitting streak to an NIU season-best 12 games, White led the offense on the day. He combined to go 3-for-7 with eight RBI, three walks and three runs scored. By hitting his first two collegiate homers, the junior became the first Huskie to have a two-homer day since Jordin Hood did so on May 1, 2010 against Central Michigan. White's seven RBI in the second game marked a new career high, easily eclipsing the three four-RBI games he previously had as his high mark.

"Troy did a nice job," Mathey said. "The first inning homer was on a middle-out pitch that he hit over the right-center fence. The second one, he was first pitch hunting and absolutely killed that ball. It was great to see him swing the bat well today."

With a 4-1 record on their current six-game road swing, the Huskies end the trip with a short trek to face Northwestern on Tuesday, April 19, at 3 p.m. CT.

-NIU-

 

 

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