May 14, 2006
DeKALB, IL - Northern Illinois battled the elements and Ball State on Sunday afternoon and it was the Cardinals who prevailed 4-0 in a shortened completion of a game that began Saturday at Ralph McKinzie Field. Five innings of the contest were completed Saturday before being halted by darkness. The game was resumed Sunday afternoon and again stopped after the seventh by rain. After a delay that lasted one hour and 20 minutes, the game was called and the third scheduled game of the set was cancelled.
NIU ends the series with a 23-28 overall record and an 8-15 MAC mark while Ball State extends its win streak to 10 to stand at 31-18 overall and 15-7 in conference play.
The Cardinals scored first, getting three runs in the top of the fifth inning. Matt Singleton's RBI groundout plated the first run of the game and BSU added runs on a sacrifice fly by Mike Sullivan and a double by Eric Earnhart.
With the score 3-0 through five innings, play was suspended Saturday afternoon and picked up Sunday in the top of the sixth.
When play resumed, Ball State added a run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Mike Ayala to go up 4-0, providing the game's final margin.
Scott Simon (Algonquin/Marian Central Catholic) led the Huskie offense with two hits while Pat Minogue (Crystal Lake/Central) extended his hitting streak to nine games, equaling his career-best set earlier this season.
Nick Hall (Crystal Lake/Prairie Ridge) took the loss (4-6) for NIU. Tyler Pritchard (6-2) earned the win for the Cardinals while Kory Bucklew notched his fourth save.
NIU plays its next game on Tuesday, stepping out of the MAC to travel to Valparaiso at 3 p.m. The game against the Crusaders marks the final non-conference tilt of the year for the Huskies. League play resumes Thursday in DeKalb with the first of a three-game set against Toledo in the final regular season series of the year.
NOTABLE HUSKIE TRACKS ...
-The cancellation of game three of the series marked the first time that NIU has lost a MAC game to weather this season.
-Nick Hall made his 46th career start to tie him with Zach Minor (2001-04) for second on the NIU career starts list.
-Hall also moved into second place on the career innings pitched list (also passing Minor) with 275.1.