NIU Tops WMU 8-3 Behind Wells' Perfect Day

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May 20, 2011

Final Stats

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Northern Illinois 8, Western Michigan 3
Robert J. Bobb Stadium | Kalamazoo, Mich.
 
1 2 3
4
5
6
7
8
9
R
H
E
NIU
2
0 1
2
0
0
0
0
3
8
9
1
WMU 2
0
0
0 0
1
0
0
0
3
6
2

W: Barry (4-5)  L: Webber (4-6)  S: Glancy (11)
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Attendance: 214
 Player of the Game

Jamison Wells
4-for-4 (1.000)
4 R
1 2B 

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Northern Illinois sophomore Jamison Wells picked up four hits and runs scored to pace the Huskies to an 8-3 win over Western Michigan, evening the three-game Mid-American Conference regular season-ending series at Robert J. Bobb Stadium Friday afternoon.

The NIU (28-25, 15-11 MAC) center fielder’s career-high-tying 4-for-4 effort was his second of the week, as he also did it in the Game One win of a seven-inning doubleheader at UW-Milwaukee Tuesday.

Wells, an NIU two-sport athlete (football), started the game with a bunt single and came around to score on a Joe Etcheverry double during the Huskies’ two-run first.

After the Broncos (25-28, 12-13 MAC) scratched two runs in the first, Wells got the Huskies started again in the third, doubling down the left field line to begin the frame. The sophomore would later come around to score on a fielder’s choice ground out by Troy White to give NIU a lead it would build on and not relinquish.

With two outs and Brian Riegler on first after a single, Wells singled to right and would come around to score on a two-run Cory Krupp double to center.

“This was a good win for us, battling back after yesterday’s disappointing loss,” said NIU head coach Ed Mathey. “We played well today, established momentum early. Jamison Wells obviously had a great day. So did Cory Krupp. He and Joe Etcheverry had a couple big RBI hits.”

Up 5-3 after the Broncos plated a run in the sixth, the Huskies put the game out of reach in the top of the ninth.

With Alex Beckmann on following a lead-off walk, Wells reached on a mishandled sacrifice bunt at third base. After Alex Jones reached on an error by reliever David Brennan, both runners then scored on another double by Etcheverry, and Jones would score on a White sacrifice fly a play later.

With his perfect day, Wells extended his career-best hitting streak to eight games and improved to 12-for-16 over his last four games, an impressive .750 clip. He has also scored 10 of NIU’s 28 runs during the stretch in addition to stealing four bases and driving in three runs.

The recipient of the support was NIU starter Tom Barry (4-5), who earned his 11th career win. Despite allowing five walks, the lefty-handed junior gave up just three runs on six hits with five strikeouts for his fifth quality start of the season.

“Tom Barry threw competitively and did a nice job in the sixth inning of getting out of a jam,” Mathey said. “We had him on a pitch count so he will be ready for the MAC Tournament.”

WMU starter Casey Webber (4-6) took the loss, surrendering five runs on seven hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 5.1 innings.

In getting their 28th win of the season, the Huskies tied their fifth-highest win total of all time. Under Mathey, NIU has achieved four of its five best victory totals in program history. The 2008 season was the last time NIU had 28 wins and more than 14 MAC triumphs, which is also the last time NIU appeared in the MAC Tournament.

With Ball State and Toledo splitting a doubleheader today and Central Michigan evening its MAC West Division title-deciding series against Eastern Michigan, the Huskies need to win the regular season finale and have CMU win tomorrow to earn the fourth seed in the MAC Tournament. If both NIU and UT lose, the Huskies will get the fifth seed. If NIU loses and UT wins, the Huskies will get the sixth seed.

The teams complete the series tomorrow at 12 p.m. CT. The slated pitching match-up features NIU RHP Tony Manville (8-1 | 4.69 ERA) vs. WMU LHP Steve Laudicina (4-3 | 4.26 ERA).

-NIU-

 

 

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