Huskies Head to The Biggest Little City for Series With Nevada

GO HUSKIES Junior leftfielder Connor Schomig
GO HUSKIES
Junior leftfielder Connor Schomig
GO HUSKIES

Feb. 21, 2013

Week Two Notes | Week Two Podcast | Nevada Baseball

WEEK TWO SLATE

Day/Opponent/Time                   Coverage
Friday: Nevada, 4 p.m.                UNR Radio (online*) / Gametracker / @NIUScores
Saturday (G1): Nevada, 1 p.m.    UNR Radio (online*) / Gametracker / @NIUScores
Saturday (G2): Nevada, TBA        UNR Radio (online*) / Gametracker / @NIUscores
Sunday:  Nevada, 1 p.m.              UNR Radio (online*) / Gametracker / @NIUScores
* - Subscription required

NORTHERN ILLINOIS PROJECTED PITCHING ROTATION
Day/Pitcher                                                Last Start
Friday: RHP Zach Badgley (0-1)                (L vs Texas Tech) 2.0 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 0 K,3 BB
Saturday: LHP Jordan Ruckman (0-1)        (L vs BYU) 6.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 K, 2 BB
Sunday (G1): RHP Eli Anderson (0-1)        (L vs Northern Colorado) 6.2 IP, 8 H,3 R, 3 K, 2 BB
Sunday (G2): RHP Alex Klonowski (0-1)     (L vs Texas Tech) 3.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 2 K, 2 BB

OPPONENTS PROJECTED PITCHING ROTATION
Day/Pitcher                                               Last start
Friday: RHP Braden Shipley (0-0)              (ND vs Kansas) 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 6 K, 3 BB
Saturday (G1): LHP Tyler Wells (1-0)         (W vs Kansas) 6.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 K, 2 BB
Saturday (G2): RHP Tom Jameson (0-1)    (L vs Kansas) 6.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 0 K, 2 BB
Sunday: RHP Mark Reese (0-0)                 (ND vs Kansas) 3.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 K, 1 BB

LEAD OFFS
• The Huskies last played at Nevada in 2006, a series that combined for 17 home runs.
• Junior Jeff Zimmerman was named to the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic all-tournament team after batting .500 (6-for-12) at the plate with a .571 on-base percentage.
• Senior Jamison Wells stepped one base closer to the all-time stolen bases record at NIU with his stolen base versus Brigham Young (Feb. 16).
• Five freshman pitchers combined for 13.1 innings pitched and a 1.22 WHIP last weekend, led by Jordan Ruckman’s six-inning performance against BYU.

BACK IN THE BIGGEST LITTLE CITY
The Huskies are no stranger to the Wolf Pack, having played a five game series in Reno March 15-19, 2006 on Northern Illinois’ spring break trip out West. Nevada swept the series that year, 5-0. Scores from the series can be found on page 15 of the notes.

HAVE BALL WILL TRAVEL
Cradled next to the Sierra Nevada Mountains in neighboring Northern California, the elevation in Reno is roughly 4,400 feet high. Needless to say, the thin air up there, could send the ball a flyin’ this weekend. In the last NIU-UNR series, the Huskies and the Wolf Pack combined for 17 home runs in the series.

WELLS ONE STEP CLOSER
Following his first stolen base of the season versus Brigham Young February 16, senior Jamison Wells (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly) is one step closer to breaking the all-time stolen bases record at Northern Illinois with 65 in his career. Alvin Maynard (1979-80) set the record in his two seasons with 71.

ZIMMERMAN’S BIG BAT
Junior first baseman Jeff Zimmerman (Tinley Park/Andrew) batted 6-for-12 (.500) in the opening weekend of the season at Texas Tech with one double to his credit. The Tinley Park, Ill. native also recorded a walk and was hit by pitch to boost his on-base percentage .571. He went on to claim all-tournament honors at the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic, the only first baseman to earn the distinction.

YOUNG GUNS
During the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic in Lubbock, Texas last weekend, Northern Illinois had five freshmen appear on the bump, including a start by Jordan Ruckman (Kankakee/Herscher), to combine for 13.1 innings. The freshman struck out 10 batters and surrendered seven walks and also accounted for a 1.22 WHIP and a 6.18 ERA.

SHOWING THEIR AGE
Junior pitchers Anthony Andres (Western Springs/St. Rita) and Kevin Sweeney (Chicago/Fenwick) stepped onto the mound for the Huskies over the weekend in tough situations. Despite being limited in prior appearances with depth in front of them the last two years, the juniors performed well. Andres appeared twice and pitched three innings with two strikeouts and surrendered zero runs, while Sweeney pitched 2.0 innings in three appearances, with a strikeout and one run surrendered. Sweeney entered the season with four career appearances, while Andres had 22.

THE FAB FIVE
Five Huskie newcomers made their first career starts in the Red and Black at Texas Tech last weekend, including three true freshmen. The five players were juniors Nate  Ruzich (C) and Landon Tenhagen (RF) along with frosh Tommy Hook (2B), Brandon Mallder (LF) and Brian Sisler (SS).

LOCAL FLAVOR
Northern Illinois baseball set its own fences around “The Barb City” during the recruiting season in 2012 as the Huskies landed DeKalb High School product Brian Sisler. Sisler played and started in all four games over the weekend at shortstop, recording a hit in the season-opener versus Texas Tech.

HOOK LINE AND SINKER
In his first collegiate at bat versus Texas Tech February 17, freshman second baseman Tommy Hook (Lockport/Lockport Township) recorded a double to left centerfield to open his career at NIU. Hook finished 1-for-3 in the game.

A WARM WELCOME
Much like his classmate Tommy Hook, catcher Johnny Zubek got a hit in his first collegiate at bat February 17 at Texas Tech. Zubek made his first appearance of the season as the leadoff hitter in the ninth inning.

OPENING WEEKEND REWIND
The Huskies opened the season in Texas Tech’s Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic, where they took on the host, along with Brigham Young and Northern Colorado. Northern Illinois finished 0-4 on the weekend but made come back efforts versus the Cougars and the Bears, dropping both games by a combined three runs. Against a talent-laden Texas Tech squad in the season-opener, Northern Illinois combined for eight hits but was unable to put the hits together with runners on base. A total of 13 newcomers made their NIU debut in Texas, 10 of which were freshman.

SCOUTING THE WOLF PACK
Nevada is 2-2 after opening weekend, following a series split versus Kansas in Mesa, Ariz. The Wolf Pack fell in games one and three, but would stake their claim in games two and four, a 2-1 win and a 9-8 victory, respectively. This year’s roster is anchored by 18 upper classmen, 11 of which are juniors.

In his first weekend with the Wolf Pack after transferring from Irvine Valley College, Scott Kaplan led all hitters at the plate, going 7-for-14 with a double, four runs and two RBI in his four starts. Brooks Klein led all-batters with eight hits on the weekend, including two triples and a doubles.

On the mound, Braden Shipley is the ace starter with a 0-0 record but carries six strikeouts and three walks. UNR’s bullpen is the question heading into the weekend as they blew a lead in game three of the series and allowed seven runs in the eighth inning to lose game one.

AN IMPRESSIVE TENURE
Nevada’s Head Coach Gary Powers is one of the NCAA’s all-time winningest coaches and entered the season No. 20 in wins by active coaches (912). Since he began his tenure with the Wolf Pack in 1983, he has taken the team to four NCAA Regionals and has won 30-or-more games in a season 17 times, including 41 in 1994.

NEXT UP
The Huskies will follow up with a weekend at the Metrodome when they play in the Dairy Queen Classic, hosted by Minnesota. Northern Illinois will also meet Dartmouth and Utah in the tournament.


 

 

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