Northern Illinois Baseball Opens Mid-American Conference Play Versus Kent State

GO HUSKIES Junior Eli Anderson
GO HUSKIES
Junior Eli Anderson
GO HUSKIES

March 21, 2013

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NORTHERN ILLINOIS (4-15) vs. KENT STATE (6-11)
Day/Opponent/Time                                                                      Coverage
Friday: vs. Kent State (Les Miller Field/Chicago), 5:30 p.m.        GameTracker / @NIUscores
Saturday: vs. Kent State (Les Miller Field/Chicago), 6 p.m.         GameTracker / @NIUscores
Sunday: vs. Kent State (Les Miller Field/Chicago), 1 p.m.           GameTracker / @NIUscores

NORTHERN ILLINOIS PROJECTED PITCHING ROTATION
Day/Pitcher                                              Last Start
Friday: LHP Jordan Ruckman (0-3)        (ND at Belmont 3/15) 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
Saturday: RHP Eli Anderson (1-3)        (ND at Lipscomb 3/16) 5.2 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Sunday: RHP Alex Klonowski (2-3)        (W at Belmont 3/17) 8.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K

OPPONENTS PROJECTED PITCHING ROTATION
Day/Pitcher                                           Last start
Friday: RHP Taylor Williams (3-1)        (W at Memphis 3/16) 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
Saturday: RHP Tyler Skulina (0-2)        (L at Memphis 3/15) 5.2 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO
Sunday: RHP Casey Wilson (1-2)        (ND at Memphis 3/17) 7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

LEAD OFFS
• Senior Jamison Wells is one stolen base away from tying the all-time record of 71 at NIU.
• The Huskies will play this weekend's series at Les Miller Field on the campus of the Univeristy of Illinois-Chicago.
• NIU is 21-23 in MAC opening series, including 17-14 under Head Coach Ed Mathey.
• Northern Illinois averaged 12 hits and eight runs in its final two games in Nashville (1-1).

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 70 in his career. So far this season, the NIU center fielder has six stolen bases. Alvin Maynard (1979-80) set the record in his two seasons with the Huskies 71.

THE SHORTEST HOME SCHEDULE SINCE 1973
With this weekend’s series being moved to Chicago due to unplayable field conditions at Ralph McKinzie Field, the Huskies are now scheduled to only play 12 games at home in 2013, the fewest home contests for Northern Illinois since Dave Mason led the Huskies in 1973. The road warrior NIU squad finished 14-15 that season.

WEATHER - IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE
Series between Northern Illinois and Kent State have been known to be affected by weather in the past, as in 2008 when the Huskies and Golden Flashes played all-three games in DeKalb, waiting out snow and frigid temperatures April 4-6 of that season. The series finale lasted 3:30 with snow delays, making it the Huskies longest nine inning game of the 2008 season.

SWINGING HOT STICKS
It may have been a slow start for Northern Illinois on its spring break trip down South, but the Huskies found their stroke in Nashville as they accounted for eight-or-more hits in all three of their games at Belmont and Lipscomb.

THE HUSKIES AND THE MAC OPENING SERIES
Under Head Coach Ed Mathey, Northern Illinois has been consistent in the opening weekend of Mid-American Conference play, sporting a 17-14 record under the 11-year skipper. Since rejoining the MAC in 1998, the Huskies are 21-23 all-time in the conference opening series.

DUCKHORN MAKING NOISE
Senior Connor Duckhorn (Darien/Cowley County CC) was a major part of the Huskies offense last weekend at the Music City Tournament, batting for 4-for-9 (.444) with four runs, four RBI, one home run and two walks. His hits, including his two-run homer at Lipscomb, came at clutch situations for NIU, allowing the team to capitalize on its scoring chances.

MODEL OF CONSISTENCY
With his six-game hitting streak as evidence, freshman Brian Sisler (DeKalb/DeKalb) put together a fine break for himself as he recorded a hit in every single game last week. In the Huskies eight contests during spring break, the DeKalb native recorded a hit in seven-of-eight games. More impressively, Sisler has reached base in 15-straight games.

HOOK, LINE AND SINKER
In his 12 starts this season, freshman Tommy Hook (Lockport/Lockport Township) has hit safely in 10 of his appearances this season, leading the team with a .310 batting average. Hook Also has three doubles this year and is amongst the team leaders in on-base percentage

ONE OF THE YOUNGEST TEAMS IN THE COUNTRY
NIU holds the distinction of being one of the youngest teams in the country as it’s played 11 freshmen and 14 first year players within the program, tying for 13th and 11th on those lists collected by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association of America, respectively.

ORANGE YOU GLAD TO BE A TWO-SPORT ATHLETE?
Jamison Wells also plays football for the Mid-American Conference Champion Huskies (12-2), who made national headlines in December when they were invited to the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl to play Florida State. Wells appeared in all 14 games at wide receiver, making 16 grabs for 180 yards.

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 86 games on the diamond with 43 appearances on the mound. “Klono” sports a .235 batting average, has 16 hits and leads NIU in RBI (8). On the mound he sports a 2-3 record, a team-leading 3.25 ERA in 36.0 innings with a team-high 21 strikeouts.

SCOUTING THE GOLDEN FLASHES
With some pundits ranking its schedule as the toughest in the country, Kent State own a 6-11 record this season after a myriad of trips throughout the country. Kent State has defeated then No. 4 Louisville and preseason top-25 San Diego, along with series victories over Charlotte and Memphis. Much like the Huskies, the Golden Flashes have yet to play a home game.

Evan Campbell has been the meat and potatoes of the batting lineup, boasting a .325 average with four doubles, a triple, a home run and 13 RBI. Sawyer Polen leads the team in average with his .333 percentage. On the mound, KSU is very experienced with two of its three starting pitchers returning from last year's squad, including 2012's ace Tyler Skulina. The Golden Flashes added Mt. Hood CC transfer Taylor Williams to the rotation this season, who boasts a 3-1 record with a 2.25 ERA.

NEXT UP
The Huskies will head to Akron March 29-31 to take on the Zips in a three-game series.