March 28, 2013
Week 7 Notes (PDF) | NIU Baseball Podcast | @NIU_Baseball (Twitter) | Akron Schedule
NORTHERN ILLINOIS (5-17, 1-2 MAC) at AKRON (4-17, 2-1 MAC)
Friday: at Akron (All Pro Freight Stadium), 2 p.m. @NIUscores
Saturday: at Akron (All Pro Freight Stadium), 3 p.m. @NIUscores
Sunday: at Akron (All Pro Freight Stadium), 11 a.m. @NIUscores
NORTHERN ILLINOIS PROJECTED PITCHING ROTATION
Day/Pitcher Last Start
Friday: LHP Jordan Ruckman (0-4) (L vs. Kent State 3/22) 7.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K
Saturday: RHP Eli Anderson (2-3) (W vs. Kent State 3/23) 9.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K
Sunday: RHP Alex Klonowski (2-4) (L vs. Kent State 3/24) 4.0 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
OPPONENTS PROJECTED PITCHING ROTATION
Day/Pitcher Last start
Friday: RHP JT Brubaker (0-5) (ND at Ball State 3/22) 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Saturday: LHP John Valek III (2-3) (W at Ball State 3/23) 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Sunday: LHP Pat Dyer (0-2) (ND at Ball State 3/24) 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
• Senior Jamison Wells is one stolen base away from setting NIU’s all-time record at 72.
• Huskie starter Eli Anderson pitched an eight strikeout complete game shutout March 23 versus KSU.
• NIU is 16-11 all-time versus Akron and has won five of the last nine games against the Zips.
WELLS TIES NIU STOLEN BASE RECORD VERSUS GOLDEN FLASHES
33 years in the making. Senior Jamison Wells (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly) tied the Huskies all-time stolen bases record with 71 in his career. The NIU center fielder tied Alvin Maynard’s (1979-80) record March 22 versus Kent State in the eighth inning with his seventh steal the season. For more on Wells’ chase for the stolen base record, read this story from The Daily Chronicle.
ANDERSON GOES THE DISTANCE... AND SHUTS OUT THE GOLDEN FLASHES
Junior Eli Anderson (Glenview/New Trier) pitched a career gem Saturday March 23 versus Kent State as he hurled a complete game shutout, striking out eight, to lead the Huskies to a 4-0 victory over the reigning College World Series participant. It was the first complete game in Anderson’s career and tied his career high for strikeouts in a game. The outing earned him MAC West Pitcher of the Week honors, also the first of his career, and was the first complete game shutout for NIU since Jeremy Gonzales’ versus Miami (Ohio) April 10, 2011.
RUCKMAN DOUBLES DOWN
In the Huskies MAC opener against Kent State, Jordan Ruckman entered the contest with nine career strikeouts on the mound in 29.1 innings. Ruckman would pitch 7.1 innings Friday night against the Golden Flashes and punch out 10 in an effort worthy of his first career win. With an an 0-4 record and 3.44 ERA , Ruckman’s opponents are only batting .243 against him, lowest amongst NIU’s starters.
THE SHORTEST HOME SCHEDULE SINCE 1973
With last 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 1973. The road warrior NIU squad finished 14-15 that year.
NIU senior Zach Badgley (McHenry) is the last of a long line of Badgleys to pitch at Northern Illinois, dating back to 1997. Brothers Dan (1997-2001), Mark (2003-07) and Nick (2008-09) all pitched for the Huskies over the years. For more on the story, read this story from The Daily Chronicle.
With eight doubles so far this season, junior Jeff Zimmerman (Tinley Park/Andrew) rankes 85th in the country in that category according to the NCAA Statistics report released March 25. Zimmerman is only five shy of his his career season high of 13 and now has 32 in his career, four shy of No. 10 all-time.
HOOK, LINE AND SINKER
In his starts this season, freshman Tommy Hook (Lockport/Lockport Township) has hit safely in 12-of-14 appearances this season, leading the team with a .312 batting average. He is currently riding a six-game hitting streak, two shy of tying the season-long of eight games by Brian Sisler (DeKalb).
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, 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.
SCOUTING THE ZIPS
Looks can be deceiving and Akron is no exception with its 4-17 record with two of those wins coming last weekend in its Mid-American Conference opening series at Ball State. The Zips have played a very tough preseason schedule, opening their season at Georgia Tech, Louisville and Kentucky, followed by trips to SC Upstate and The Citadel. Akron won the series finale against the Spartans and claimed its final non-conference win versus Quinnipiac over spring break.
Matt LaRocca has been a major piece in the offense for the Zips with his team leading .290 batting average, two doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI. Leadoff Devan Ahart owns a .272 batting average and leads the team with 22 hits, including three doubles and six RBI. Hart has also stolen four bases. Freshman John Valek III has been the top starting pitcher for Akron this season with a 2-3 record and a 5.46 ERA in 31.1 innings of work. Classmate JT Brubaker has similar numbers to to Valek on the mound but carries a 0-5 record, averaging 4.03 strikeouts per game.
The Huskies will host Wisconsin Milwaukee in a midweek contest Thursday April 3 before heading back on the road to face Central Michigan April 5-7.