May 6, 2007
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DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois completed a three-game sweep of Western Michigan with a wild 10-6 seesaw victory Sunday afternoon at Ralph McKinzie Field. The Huskies led 4-0 before each team struck for six runs in the seventh inning. NIU improves to 27-19 on the year and 13-8 in the MAC.
"It is great to sweep at home in the MAC and it gets us back on track," said head coach Ed Mathey. "Our kids fought back all weekend and we did it again today by answering with six runs to take back the lead after they scored six to take the lead."
Jeff Thomas put NIU ahead 1-0 with the first run of the game in the third inning. Matt Behren led off the frame by drawing a walk, was advanced to second on Marc Besteman's sacrifice bunt and came around to score on Thomas' RBI single to center.
The Huskies struck for three runs in the fourth to take a 4-0 advantage. Danny Reed singled home Jesse Seykora, who tripled to right earlier in the inning. Behren doubled home Scott Simon and Reed to stake NIU to a four-run lead.
WMU drew even in the seventh behind a three-run home run by Zach Gentile and a RBI single by Nathan Marquardt that knotted the game at four.
Later in the seventh, the Broncos took a 5-4 lead when pinch-hitter Max Kelmigian was hit by pitch with the bases loaded. WMU added an insurance run when Marquardt scored from third on a passed ball.
It was déjà vu in the bottom the seventh as Jeff Thomas cleared the right field fence with a home run to tie the game. As in Saturday's game, NIU took a late lead on a bases loaded walk that scored Pat Minogue, this time via the free pass to Reed for a 7-6 lead.
NIU got insurance runs on Jordin Hood's sacrifice fly that scored Seykora and Behren's RBI single that plated pinch-runner Bobby Stevens to make it 9-6. The Huskies put up their sixth tally of the frame on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Jewett that brought Reed across to score.
Matt German (4-1) notched the victory by tossing the final 2.1 innings. NIU starter Mark Badgley held the Broncos scoreless into the seventh and finished with 6.2 innings, eight hits and five strikeouts without allowing an earned run or issuing a walk in the no-decision. Drew Mahan (0-1) took the loss for the Broncos (15-26, 8-10).
Behren led the Huskies with three hits and tied with Thomas for a team-high three RBI.
The Huskies are back in action Friday with the first of a three-game series at Ball State, the beginning of a stretch of eight games in nine days to close out the regular season.
HUSKIE TRACKS ...
-NIU executed its second MAC sweep of the season, a feat that had not been achieved since 2004 (April 9-11 against Western Michigan and May 21-23 vs. Toledo).
-Matt Behren's three hits equaled his career high, set twice previously, last vs. Eastern Michigan on April 28. He is hitting .522 in his last eight games played.
-Jeff Thomas has hit two of his three career home runs in the past two games and tied a career-high with three RBI in Sunday's game.
-Mark Badgley's five strikeouts moved him into eighth place on the NIU season strikeout list with 72.
-Matt German earned a victory and three saves in four appearances during the week.
-Prior to the game, NIU honored nine seniors as part of its senior day recognition: Mark Badgley, Marc Besteman, Matt German, Brad Heinz, Daniel Jewett, Brett Kellam, Tim Ryan, Jesse Seykora and Scott Simon.