Huskie Baseball Begins Spring Barnstorming Tour at Southern Illinois

GO HUSKIES Connor Duckhorn drove in the winning run at Minnesota last Sunday
GO HUSKIES
Connor Duckhorn drove in the winning run at Minnesota last Sunday
GO HUSKIES

March 7, 2013

Southern Illinois Notes (PDF) | NIU Baseball Podcast (Spring Break) | @NIU_Baseball (Twitter)

WEEK FOUR SLATE

Day/Opponent/Time                           Coverage
Friday: at Southern Illinois, 2 p.m.        Video * / Gametracker / @NIUScores
Saturday: at Southern Illinois, 2 p.m.    Video * / Gametracker / @NIUScores
Sunday: at Southern Illinois, 1 p.m.      Video * / Gametracker / @NIUScores
* - Subscription required

NORTHERN ILLINOIS PROJECTED PITCHING ROTATION
Day/Pitcher                                        Last Start
Friday: LHP Jordan Ruckman (0-2)    (L vs Utah) 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K
Saturday: RHP Eli Anderson (1-2)     (L vs Dartmouth) 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 6 K
Sunday: RHP Alex Klonowski (0-2)    (W at Minnesota) 9.0 IP, 2 H,1 R, 3 BB, 8 K

OPPONENTS PROJECTED PITCHING ROTATION
Day/Pitcher                              Last start
Friday: LHP Derek Fogel           (ND vs Jacksonville St.) 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Saturday:RHP Sam Coonrod    (W vs Western Kentucky) 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 K
Sunday: LHP Cody Forsythe     (L vs Western Kentucky) 7.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 1 K

LEAD OFFS
• SIU is NIU's first leg of its spring break trip. It will follow up at Murray State and Belmont.
Alex Klonowski threw NIU's first two-hit complete game since 2003 at Minnesota March 3.
• The Huskies defeated Minnesota for the first time ever at the Dairy Queen Classic. Northern Illinois finished as tournament runnerup (1-2).
Alex Klonowski and Jamison Wells were selected to the Dairy Queen Classic All-Tournament team.
• Freshman shortstop Brian Sisler was featured in Thursday morning's Daily Chronicle

KLONO WORKING FOR DILLY BARS
Northern Illinois pitcher/second baseman Alex Klonowski (Kearney, Mo.) had a big weekend at the Dairy Queen Classic in Minneapolis, Minn. On the mound, Klonowski pitched a two-hit complete game, the first of his career, versus Minnesota in the tournament finale. He also fanned a career-high eight batters, including two looking for the final two outs in the bottom of the ninth. At the plate, the Kearney, Mo. native finished 6-for-11 (.545) in with zero errors in the filed.

ANDERSON'S STRONG SEVEN
Junior pitcher Eli Anderson (Glenview/New Trier) pitched well enough for the win March 2 versus Dartmouth at the Dairy Queen Classic. The Glenview, Ill. product surrendered four hits with six strikeouts, two walks and one earned run in seven innings on the mound. His lone earned run of the ball game was the winning-run in the bottom of the seventh, a home run to right center field in NIU's 1-0 loss to Dartmouth.

FIELD OF DREAMS
In the NCAA's first statistical report that was released March 5, Northern Illinois stands No. 7 in the country in fielding percentage at .987. Three of the Huskies first seven opponents, Dartmouth, Nevada and Northern Colorado, are ranked in the top-15 in fielding percentage. The Big Green leads nation at 1.00.

WELLS INCHING CLOSER
Senior Jamison Wells (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly) is inching closer to breaking the all-time stolen bases record at Northern Illinois with 67 in his career. So far this season, the NIU center fielder has three stolen bases and has averaged 26 the last two seasons. Alvin Maynard (1979-80) set the record in his two seasons with the Huskies 71.

JOHN OLERUD AWARD WATCH LIST WORTHY?
Junior Alex Klonowski has been a solid two-way player for the Huskies since his arrival in 2011, appearing in 82 games on the diamond with 42 appearances on the mound. "Klono" currently leads the Huskies in batting average (.310), hits (12) and RBI (6), while also leading NIU in innings pitched (19.1) and strikeouts (16) on the bump. With a 1-2 record, including a complete game at Minnesota, he sports a 4.19 ERA. The John Olerud Award is given to the top Division I player who excels on the mound and in the field.

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF
On March 22, 2003, former Huskie Joe Piekarz hurled a two-hit seven inning complete game versus Calumet College in the Huskies 6-0 victory over the Crimson Wave. Fast forward nearly 10 years, March 3, 2013, and Alex Klonowski repeats the feat. Klonowski tossed nine innings versus Minnesota to defeat the Big Ten foe, 2-1. It was Klonowski's first career complete game at NIU - just like Piekarz' was.

SMALL BALL EFFICIENCY
Despite Northern Illinois' 2-9 record, the Huskies ranked 88th in the country in sacrifice bunts in the first statistical report published by the NCAA Tuesday afternoon. Northern Illinois combined for a season-high three sacrifices in the win against the Golden Gophers March 3, including two by freshman shortstop Brian Sisler.

ANDRES THE GIANT
He may not stand 7-4, but junior southpaw Anthony Andres (Western Springs/St. Rita) has had a large presence on the mound for Northern Illinois. In his five appearances this season, the Southsider has hurled 6.1 innings this season without surrendering a single run. Andres has fanned six batters with only one walk and six hits. He has pulled the Huskies out of several jams thus far, uncluding a bases loaded jam versus Dartmouth.

NORTH VERSUS SOUTH
Northern Illinois and Southern Illinois have a rich history with each other, having played each other every season under Ed Mathey. Under the Huskie skiper, NIU leads the series with SIU, 14-10. Last season, the teams split the series as Northern Illinois won the second and final game of the series, 9-4. Since the NIU program was reinstated in 1991, the Huskies are 15-27 versus the Salukis. All-time, Northern Illinois trails the series, 25-64.

BARNSTORMING TOUR
Northern Illinois will begin its annual spring break trip this weekend. While on their 10-day quest, the Huskies will travel from DeKalb, to Carbondale, to Murray, Ky., to Nashville, Tenn., and back - a total of 1,144 miles on the road. The Huskies will open with its annual series at Southern Illinois, followed by a two-game series against Murray State and closing it out in the Music City Tournament in Nashville, Tenn. to play Belmont and Lipscomb. NIU will play eight games in 10 day.

40 YEARS LATER
In March 1973, the Huskies went on their spring break trip to take on Belmont, Lipscomb, Middle Tennesse and Vanderbilt. This year, NIU will again head to Nashville, Tenn. to take on Belmont and Lipscomb. The Huskies went 1-1 with Lipscomb in the series and defeated Belmont as well.

SCOUTING THE SALUKIS
Southern Illinois owns a 5-6 record, following its loss to Murray State Wednesday night, 9-8. The Salukis have only played two home games, splitting with Western Kentucky March 3 and 4, with the rest of their contests on the road. Matt Jones has been the all-everything at the plate for SIU with his .396 average, four doubles and 13 RBI. Cody Forsythe, who will start Sunday versus the Huskies, has been the strongest on the mound for Southern Illinois with a 1-1 record, 2.95 ERA in 18.1 innings of work. Sam Coonrad, Saturday's starting pitcher, has 14 strikeouts and 12 walks in his 15.0 innings.

DAIRY QUEEN CLASSIC REVIEW
The Huskies participated in the Dairy Queen Classic where they finished tournament runner-up with a 1-2 record at the Metrodome. The team fell to Utah 6-1 in the opener and followed up with a pitchers dual against Dartmouth, falling, 1-0. NIU closed with a 2-1 win over Minnesota, led by Alex Klonowski's two-hit complete game.

NEXT UP
The Huskies continued their spring break trip with a two-game series at Murray State March 12-13.


 

 

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