April 1, 2014
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois baseball team (4-19-1) will return to the diamond Wednesday for its first midweek contest since March 18 at UIC as the Huskies head to Valparaiso (9-11). The April 2 showdown with NIU and the Crusaders will begin at 3 p.m. Central time at Valpo's Emory G. Bauer Field.
The Huskies are coming off of a three game set with Bowling Green in Westfield, Ind., NIU's second Mid-American Conference series of the season. Northern Illinois won its first game against the Falcons at Grand Park, shutting out BGSU, 9-0, on 10 team hits and lights out pitching by Anthony Andres, Dirk Ormsby and Jordan Ruckman.
After a mixture of rain, snow and sleet postponed Saturday's contest, the Huskies and the Falcons were forced to a play a doubleheader Sunday in which Bowling Green took both games to win the series, 4-1, 7-3.
Sophomore Brandon Mallder was the Huskies top dog in the series as he hit .500 with a 4-for-8 clip, including an .667 on-base percentage with four walks to his credit. Mallder finished the weekend with five RBI, including four on Friday night, as he went 2-for-2 with a double, a run and three walks.
Valparaiso is 9-11 and is in action Tuesday night as it takes on in-state foe Notre Dame. Spencer Mahoney has been the top-hitter for average through 20 games with a clip of .300 with five doubles, both team-highs. Chris Manning and Karch Kowalczyk have been the meat in the lineup as each has accounted for three home runs this season. Kowalczyk and Manning also accounting for 17 and 16 RBI, respectively.
Kowalcyzk has also been one of the Crusaders top-relief pitchers as well, making seven appearances with five saves and an ERA of 2.35 to his credit. Reliever Bryce Yoder owns the top earned run average at a clip of 1.29 with a 1-0 record. Valpo is headed by former Huskie pitcher Brian Schmack (1992-95), who went on to pitch eight seasons in the minor league before breaking through with the Detroit Tigers in 2003.
Northern Illinois will return to action Friday, April 4 as the Huskies begin a three-game series with Toledo at Ralph McKinzie Field. First pitch on Friday is set for 3:05 p.m.
The Last Meeting
May 3, 2011