March 6, 2014
Week 4 - Northern Illinois (1-8-1) vs No. 5 Oregon State (10-3)
Goss Stadium at Coleman Field (Corvallis, Ore.)
Friday, March 7 vs Oregon State (7:05 p.m.)
Saturday, March 8 vs Oregon State (2:35 p.m.)
Saturday, March 8 vs Oregon State (5 p.m.)
Sunday, March 9 vs Oregon State (3:05 p.m.)
Radio (Friday): 1190 KEX (Portland)
Radio (Saturday & Sunday): Fox Sports 620 AM (Portland)
Live Stats: OSUBeavers.com
NORTHERN ILLINOIS’ PITCHING ROTATION
Friday: RHP Eli Anderson (1-1)
2014 stats: 18.2 IP, 3.38 ERA, 13 K, 6 BB, 1.32 WHIP
Saturday G1: LHP Jordan Ruckman (0-3)
2014 stats: 14.2 IP, 3.75 ERA, 8 K, 10 BB, 2.04 WHIP
Saturday G2: To Be Determined
Sunday: RHP Alex Klonowski (0-0)
2014 stats: 17.1, 4.67 ERA, 9 K, 9 BB, 1.46 WHIP
OREGON STATE’S PITCHING ROTATION
Friday: RHP Andrew Moore (1-0)
2014 stats: 20.1 IP, 0.89 ERA, 14 K, 4 BB, 0.85 WHIP
Saturday G1: LHP Jace Fry (2-0)
2014 stats: 22.1 IP, 2.82 ERA, 9 K, 4 BB, 1.31 WHIP
Saturday G2: RHP Scott Schultz (2-1)
2014 stats: 22.2 IP, 1.99 ERA, 12 K, 5 BB, 0.99 WHIP
Sunday: Ben Wetzler (1-0)
2014 stats: 7.2 IP, 1.17 ERA, 5 K, 1 BB, 0.69 WHIP
• This will be the first full series between the Huskies and the Beavers, though they have met three times since 2009.
• Northern Illinois will be playing its first games ever in the Pacific Northwest.
• Huskie Brian Sisler led all batters in last week’s series, hitting .375 with an on-base percentage of .500.
• Last weekend’s series combined for eight runs, 32 hits and five errors at Southern Illinois.
• Oregon State enters the game No. 5 in the country in consensus polls.
• The last ranked opponent NIU played was OSU, then ranked 24th on March 4, 2011.
10 GAMES IN 10 DAYS
NIU is starting its annual spring break trip this weekend in Corvallis with a four game set against Oregon State March 7-9. The Huskies will then follow up with a three game, three night series at Cal Poly, starting March 11 to take on the Mustangs. Northern Illinois will wrap up its spring break March 15 and 16 with a three game series back in Illinois to take Bradley, down in Peoria.
A RUBBER SERIES
With strong pitching staffs for both teams and sub-50 degree temperatures for two of the three games in the series, Northern Illinois and Southern Illinois combined for eight runs (1.21 ERA) and a batting average of .176 (31-for-176). Game one of the series, the Huskies first win of the season, had a temperature of 41 degrees at first pitch at 12:03 p.m. Central as only two baserunners, both Huskies, touched third base in the game. On Saturday, cloud cover warmed up the series as game temperatures were listed at 48 and 55 for games one and two, respectively.
THE TOUGHEST TO STRIKEOUT
Senior Alex Klonowski has made 42 plate appearances this season, the second-most on the team this season. While his average is not where he would like it to be right now, .220, he is one of 36 eligible players in country to have not recorded a strikeout this season at the plate, making him and his other cohorts the toughest to strike out in Division I. Last season, Klonowski finished 55th in the country with an average of 13.5 at-bats to every strikeout recorded.
JUST LIKE A POLAR BEAR
Pitcher Eli Anderson earned his first win of the season on the mound Friday as he hurled a season-high 7.1 innings, striking out eight and walking two in a 1-0 victory over the Salukis. It was his second combined shutout of his career and his third overall. Anderson’s lone complete game shutout was versus Kent State last season March 23 in 36 degree temperatures and has stated that he prefers pitching in the cold.
Through 10 games this season, the NIU defense has committed 10 errors for a team fielding percentage of .974, the 54th best fielding percentage in the country and the top in the Mid-American Conference. The Huskies recorded one error in each of their games at SIU and only one total in their four games at New Mexico, committing the error in the series finale versus the Lobos in which the Huskies tied UNM, 3-3. The infield, which returns three of its four regular starters from last season, has also turned 10 double plays this season, the top-mark in the MAC and 42nd best clip in the NCAA.
THE ICE MAN COMETH
In low-scoring series, dominated by pitchers in frigid Midwest temperatures, sophomore Brian Sisler dominated the series at the plate for NIU, as he posted the highest batting average and on-base percentage with clips of .375 (3-for-8) and .500. Sisler walked three times in the series to pace all NIU and SIU players.
NOW YOU’RE COOKIN’ FRANKY
Freshman Andrew Frankenreider earned his first career save in the win last Friday, entering in the top of the ninth inning for reliever Anthony Andres, who entered the game with one man down in the eighth inning. The Peoria, Ill., native only tossed seven pitches in the inning as he caught the first batter looking at a called strike three and popped out the next two batters to wrap up his first career save in first career attempt.
HISTORY LESSON - THE HUSKIES AND THE BEAVS
NIU and OSU have faced off three times since 2009 with the Huskies owning an 0-3 record in the all-time series. The teams have only met in Arizona, first taking each other on in Tempe for the Demarini Invitational, where the 25th ranked Beavers defeated the Huskies in the February 26 tournament opener, 23-7. However, in the follow up game on March 1, trailing 2-1 in the top of the ninth, NIU loaded the bases with two outs but former Huskie great Alex Jones, then a freshman, struck out looking to end the contest. In the last meeting, 2011, at the Coca Cola Classic in Surprise, NIU trailed No. 24 OSU by one run after six and half innings, 4-3, but five runs in the bottom of the sixth and two more in the seventh spread the game too far from the Huskies who fell, 11-3, in the tournament finale.
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
The Beavers are a consensus top-10 selection in this week’s national polls, ranked as high as fifth in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Baseball America polls. Oregon State is 10-3 this season with losses to three Midwest teams; Nebraska, Michigan State and Wright State. The Beavers played their first home games of the season against the Raiders last weekend, dropping game two of a March 1 doubleheader, 6-2. OSU defeated Portland on Tuesday, March 4 in a midweek game at Goss Stadium, 5-0. As a team, Oregon State is batting .296 this season with 86 RBI and on-base percentage of .423. Situational baseball is a key for the Beavers, who have already accounted for eight sacrifice flies and 16 sacrifice hits.