North versus South: Huskies Face Salukis

GO HUSKIES Sophomore Tommy Hook led the Huskies in last year's series at Southern Illinois, going 3-for-8 with two sacrifice bunts and two runs
Sophomore Tommy Hook led the Huskies in last year's series at Southern Illinois, going 3-for-8 with two sacrifice bunts and two runs

Feb. 27, 2014

NIU-SIU Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Friday: RHP Eli Anderson
    2014 stats: 0-1, 5.56 ERA, 5 K, 4 BB, 1.53 WHIP
Saturday G1: LHP Jordan Ruckman
    2014 stats: 0-2, 9.35 ERA, 6 K, 8 BB, 2.32 WHIP
Saturday G2: RHP Alex Klonowski
    2014 stats: 0-0, 6.35 ERA, 5 K, 6 BB, 1.71 WHIP

Friday: RHP Sam Coonrod
    2014 stats:  0-0, 5.40 ERA, 6 K, 4 BB, 1.61 WHIP
Saturday G1: RHP Todd Eaton
    2014 stats: 0-1, 8.10 ERA, 7 K, 4 BB, 2.00 WHIP
Saturday G2: LHP Aaron Hauge
    2014 stats: 0-1, 4.91 ERA, 1 K, 1 BB, 2.19 WHIP


• Sophomore Brandon Mallder led NIU at the plate last series, hitting 7-for-14 with three RBI and a run.
• NIU earned its first tie since a 8-8, 12 inning draw 4/26/05 last Sunday at New Mexico, 3-3 in in 10 innings.
• Junior Ben Neumann has made five appearances this season, having yet to surrender a run or walk.
• Rent One Park is home to the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League.
• The Huskies and the Salukis last played their in 2011, with NIU emerging victorious, 7-5.
• For day-to-day updates on the series, visit

Due to impending weather throughout Southern Illinois, the series between the Huskies and the Salukis has been changed. NIU will play one game on Friday, starting at noon, and will play a doubleheader Saturday starting at 11 a.m., to wrap up the series while forecasts appear clear. After originally being scheduled to be played at SIU’s new Itchy Jones Stadium, the series was moved to Rent One Park in Marion, Ill., home of the Frontier League’s Southern Illinois Miners, to better accomodate for any weather that may come to the area.

Then-freshman Tommy Hook had a coming out party in the series as he led the Huskies at the plate in the series, going 3-for-8 (.375) with two runs, two sacrifice bunts and a hit by pitch. Junior Jeff Zimmerman, now in the Seattle Mariners farm system, paced NIU in on-base percentage (.462) and slugging percentage (.462) in the series as he recorded two doubles on four hits. On the mound, Alex Klonowski pitched a complete game loss as Southern Illinois recorded a walkoff win in game one of a Saturday double-header, 3-2.

Through seven games this season, the NIU defense has only committed seven errors for a team fielding percentage of .975. The Huskies recorded one error in their four games at New Mexico, committing the error in the series finale versus the Lobos in which the Huskies tied, 3-3. The infield, which returns three of its four regular starters from last season, has also turned six double plays through seven games.

Only once in the 12 seasons that HEad Coach Ed Mathey has been at Northern Illinois, 2010, has NIU not played in a tournament or a series against Southern Illinois University. The series is a tightly contested one as the Huskies narrowly trail the Salukis in the series annals since 2003, 12-13, with all series being played in the Carbondale area or in St. Louis, Mo.

As mentioned before, sophomore Brandon Mallder finished 7-for-14 in New Mexico to pace the Huskies with a .500 batting average. Coming off the bench in the eighth in the opening game of the series versus Missouri State, and with the Huskies down, 9-0, Mallder rallied NIU to eight runs in the bottom of the ninth as he was 2-for-2 in the inning with three RBI, a double and a run scored. With an average of .429 so far this season, Mallder has been especially dangerous with runners on base as he is 9-for-12 (.750) advancing runners on the base path to pace the Northern Illinois lineup in that category. He is also 4-for-10 (.400) with runners in scoring position.

In five appearances this season, junior Ben Neumann has been the Huskies ace reliever on the hill. While being called upon primarly as a “matchup pitcher” in his first two seasons to face left-handed hitters, he has shown strength in his 4.1 innings this season, only allowing three hits in that time with zero walks. In his last two outings, 2.0 combined innings, he has posted zeroes across his pitching line -- which includes securing the Huskies tie with runners on second and third with two outs at New Mexico on February 23. For more on Neumann, view his game-by-game pitching statistics on page 10 of the notes.

While senior Anthony Andres is listed as 6-0, 190 on the 2014 roster, his presence on the mound for the Huskies this season has been that of the Pro Wrestling Hall-of-Famer Andre the Giant. In four outings this season, combining for five innings, Andres has only allowed four hits, seven walks and one earned run. His line is a bit misleading as he has thrown three intentional walks this season, technically allowing only four. When outs have been needed, Andres has secured them via strikeout as he amassed two punchouts in three appearances this season. In his last appearance at New Mexico in NIU’s draw, the Western Springs, Ill., native scattered two hits, struck out two batters and allowed one walk, while intentionally walking two batters. His only earned run this season was the winning run in the season-opener against Minnesota on February 14.

Southern Illinois has had a good start to their season as it has posted a 5-2 record, including four-straight triumphs after a midweek victory at Tennessee-Martin, 6-2. SIU features the No. 42 junior in college baseball this season according to Perfect Game USA in pitcher Sam Coonrod, who will start Friday’s contest on the mound. Cody Daly has led the Southern Illinois batters this season with a .375 average and eight runs scored. He’s also driven in four runs and hit one home run this season as well. Jake Welch, who is currently only hitting .167, has made the most of his appearances on base (.324 OBP) as he leads the team in runs scored and stolen bases at 10 and three, respectively.

NIU will begin its spring break trip as they head to No. 4 Oregon State for a four game set, starting March 7, before heading South to Cal Poly for three midweek games, starting March 11.

The Last Meeting
Northern Illinois2
Southern Illinois3
March 9, 2013
Carbondale, Ill.
Klonowski Pitches Second-Straight Complete Game at Southern Illinois
Junior Alex Klonowski pitched his second-straight complete game for Northern Illinois (2-11) as the Huskies fell to Southern Illinois (7-6) in game one of their doubleheader, 3-2. Klonowski became the first pitcher since Trevor Feeney in March 2007 to pitch consecutive complete games for NIU ...



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