April 28, 2007
Box Score in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois used an offensive explosion and strong pitching in an 11-1 rout of MAC leader Eastern Michigan Saturday afternoon at Ralph McKinzie Field. The Huskies improved to 22-17 on the season and 11-7 in conference play.
"We swung the bats well today and it's been a long time coming," said head coach Ed Mathey. "Offensively, we made adjustments against a very good pitcher and that was nice to see. Matt Jernstad was simply outstanding for us on the mound today. He got ahead of hitters, hit on all his pitches and relied on his defense. I can't say enough about his performance."
Jernstad (3-2) went a career-long 8.0 innings to pick up his third victory of the season while yielding just four hits and one earned run. The lefthander fanned six against one walk and faced just five over the minimum in the outing.
NIU scored 11 runs on 14 hits, the most Huskie runs and hits in a MAC game this season. Matt Behren went three-for-four and equaled career highs with four RBI and three hits while Pat Minogue recorded his second three-hit game in the past three outings. Scott Simon went three-for-four and scored three runs.
NIU put up a three-spot in the second inning to open the scoring. Simon led off the frame with a single and moved to third when Jeff Thomas reached on a throwing error. The duo came around to score when Behren delivered a single to center field to stake NIU to a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Daniel Jewett's RBI single scored Behren for the third Huskie run.
Minogue extended the NIU lead to 5-0 in the fifth by belting a two-run home run over the left field fence that also scored Marc Besteman
who had reached on a single.
The Huskies struck three times in the sixth for a 8-0 advantage. Simon doubled to center to start the inning before Danny Reed blasted a two-run shot over the left center wall to chase EMU starter George Biddle. Minogue later added a two-out RBI single that scored Behren to cap the inning scoring.
In the seventh, Behren doubled home Simon and Thomas for a 10-0 Huskie lead. Behren came around to score on consecutive balks to make it 11-0.
EMU got its first and only run of the game in the eighth on Brian Blackburn's pinch-hit home run.
George Biddle (4-4) took the loss for the Eagles, who dropped to 17-17 and 13-2.
The Huskies and Eagles wrap up their series Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. rubber match.
HUSKIE TRACKS ...
-Ed Mathey moved into sole possession of third place on the NIU career victory list with 127, breaking his tie with George Evans.
-NIU's 11 runs was its highest output since tallying 11 at Kent State on April 7. The 11-run output was the most scored by the Huskies at home this season.
-The Huskies' 14 hits were their most since 14 on April 5 against Illinois State.
-Scott Simon's two doubles moved him into a tie for fourth place on the MAC's career doubles list with 65.
-NIU recorded its first multi-homer game since April 15 when the Huskies had three against Miami.