April 19, 2012
DeKALB, Ill. - Fresh off a road sweep of Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois returns to Ralph McKinzie Field for a series with MAC West division rival Toledo. The Huskies (11-24, 5-7 MAC) are seeking to get back in the black against the Rockets (17-20, 6-6 MAC) and secure a bid to the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
- Power was the Huskies game last weekend, combined for 17 extra base hits with four home runs and two triples.
- All-time NIU is 24-32 versus the Rockets and won the 2011 series at Toledo, 2-1.
- Skipper Ed Mathey accrued his 250th NIU win Sunday versus the Redhawks
- With three doubles last weekend, Alex Jones is 19th in the NCAA in doubles/game, including four doubles in the last seven games played.
- Senior closer Kyle Glancy is 16th in the country in saves and No. 1 in the MAC (8).
FRIDAY RHP Taylor Nawrocki (3-3) 53 IP | 5.60 ERA | 33 SO | 31 BB
SATURDAY LHP Jake Hermsen (3-3) 53 IP | 4.92 ERA | 43 SO | 25 BB
SUNDAY To Be Determined
FRIDAY LHP Ryan Wilkinson (4-2) 40 IP | 2.47 ERA | 25 SO | 10 BB
SATURDAY RHP Matt Kuna (3-1) 39.0 IP | 3.00 ERA | 26 SO | 9 BB
SUNDAY RHP Mike Hamann (1-4) 46.1 IP | 8.16 ERA | 31 SO | 24 BB
FOLLOW FROM HOME
Fans can follow all three three games via GameTracker on NIUHuskies.com. Visit the baseball schedule and click on the corresponding game on the schedule. Fans can also follow along on Twitter, by following @NIUAthletics or @NIU_Baseball.
LAST TIME OUT: HUSKIES EARN FIRST EVER SWEEP OVER MIAMI (OHIO)
Following a paltry midweek performance against Illinois State (L, 22-3), Northern Illinois hit the road for a three-game series with Miami (Ohio) to climb back into MAC Tournament contention. The Huskies did just that in Oxford, Ohio with a come from behind performance in game, winning 8-7. With heavy rains and lingering thunderstorms on Saturday, NIU was forced to play a doubleheader on Sunday. With never say die attitude, the Huskies outlasted the Redhawks in both games, taking game one 7-5 and coming from behind in game two with a 13-11 win to improve their Mid-American Conference record, 5-7.
Senior Alex Jones has cranked out the two-baggers in 2012 totaling 14 in 33 games this season, putting him 19th in the the NCAA in doubles/game (0.42). His most impressive stretch of the season was five in five games as he recorded two against Southern Illinois March 16, another versus Illinois March 18 and added two more against Illinois-Chicago March 20 in the home-opener. As a freshman, Jones hit nine in 47 games played. He is sixth all-time in NIU history with 48 in 190 games played.
Northern Illinois has combined for four homeruns in the series against the Redhawks, the most by the Huskies combining for five against Arkansas State and Dayton. Alex Klonowski led NIU in the category as he went yard on Friday and in game one of the doubleheader on Sunday. Klonowski is tied for the team lead with three this season.
Senior Troy White garnered MAC West Player of the Week Tuesday April 17 after finishing last week 7-for-16 at the plate (.438) with nine RBI, a double, a home run, three runs and three sacrifice flies in the Huskies three games versus Miami (Ohio) and in a midweek tilt against Illinois State. He twice drove in NIU's go-ahead runs in the top of the ninth inning, doing so against the Redhawks in game one and in game three of the series.
HOT LIKE FIRE; COOL LIKE WATER
Jake Hermsen has been on a terror for the Huskies in the starting rotation in his last four starts, with a 3-1 record, an ERA of 1.86, 21 strikeouts and four walks in 29 innings pitched. His quartet of walks occurred in the Ohio game, leaving the New London, Wis., native with three games without allowing a walk. In his start versus Miami (Ohio), Hermsen and Kyle Glancy did not allow a walk in nine innings, marking the first time since April 26, 2011 at Bradley that Northern Illinois did not surrender a walk in a game. Hermsen hurled a seven inning complete game against Bradley that day. Coincidence or not?
LIKE A ROCK
Junior Taylor Nawrocki has been an anchor for NIU as a starter lately, pitching 31.1 innings for the Huskies and owning 3-1 record in his last four starts. He contributed 8.1 innings in NIU's 3-0 shutout win over Illinois March 18, en route to MAC West Pitcher of the Week honors. On March 30 versus Akron, Nawrocki surrendered three runs in the first inning before settling down and keeping the Zips at bay to lead NIU to a 10-5 victory.
FOR THE GOOD OF THE CAUSE
Friday against Miami, senior Troy White finished the game 0-for-2 at the plate with two strikeouts. However, White drove in three runs on three sacrifice flies, including the winning run in the top of the ninth to lead NIU to an 8-7 victory.
LEADERS OF THE PACK
The folowing Huskies are the Mid-American Conference leaders in their respective statistical categories. Check it out and see for yourself.
Category Player Total No. 2
Stolen Bases Jamison Wells 20 15
Appearances Kyle Glancy 20 18
Saves Kyle Glancy 8 4
THE WRAP SHEET
Northern Illinois and Toledo aren't exactly strangers in the night as the two teams have met 56 times before, with the first taking place in 1968, a 9-8 victory by the Huskies. In the last three seasons, Toledo has edged Northern Illinois twice in the series, however, the Huskies took last years series with a win in game one of a doubleheader, 4-3, and won Sunday's third and final game, 8-7.
In the last nine games in the series, the Huskies trail the Rockets 4-5 in the series.
NIU trails UT, 24-32 (Last nine: 4-5)
4/17/09 W 12-5
4/18/09 L 12-7
4/23/10 L 7-5
4/24/10 L 5-1
4/25/10 W 6-1
4/23/11 W 4-3
4/24/11 W 8-7
SCOUTING THE ROCKETS
Toledo owns a 17-20 record in 2012 and are a balanced 6-6 in conference play thurs far and are tied for third-place in the West division, one spot ahead of the Huskies. In its last 10-matches, UT is 5-5 with a trio of MAC wins and in that stretch defeated Michigan, 6-2, on April 11. The Rockets lost to Wright State April 18 in innings, 5-4. On the road the team is 10-15 in 2012.
Pitching has been a strength of Toledo thus far as the staff combines for an earned run average of 4.73, fourth-lowest in the MAC. Freshman Ryan Wilkinson has been a pleasant addition for the Rockets with a 4-2 record and a team low earned run average of 2.47. James Miglin has been the balance of average and power with a .308 batting average, six doubles, four home runs and 26 RBI.
TROY IS OUR BOY
Senior third baseman Troy White had a big weekend for the Huskies in Oxford, Ohio, finishing 7-for-13 (.538) with nine RBI, a double, a home run and three runs. Impressively, White was 7-for-11 during the Huskies doubleheader against the Redhawks on Sunday, Jackie Robinson Day. White is a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar. He enters the weekend with a .278 batting average and leads the team in RBI (28), home runs (3) and sacrifice flies (4).
HE MAKES GOLD RECORDS
It may just be a line from an SNL skit, but it applies to senior Alex Jones. Against Illinois March 17, Jones broke the Northern Illinois record for career triples with the 12th of his career in the bottom of the eighth inning. He set himself apart from NIU Hall of Famer Tom Wittum (1969-72) and Jeff Sevenich (1977-80), who were previously tied for the career lead. The Kansas City, Kan. native set himself apart last weekend at Miami as he notched two more doubles to increase his record to 14.
NAME AND RANK
The Huskies are holding their weight against some of the nation's top teams statistically, as NIU ranks in the top 100 in several categories in the NCAA's April 16 stats report. See for yourself.
Category Rank Actual
Stolen Bases/Game 94th 1.23
Stolen Bases 90th 43
Category Player Rank Actual
Doubles Alex Jones 29th 19
Doubles/game Alex Jones 19th 0.42
Stolen bases Jamison Wells 26th 19
Stolen Bases/game Jamison Wells 34th 0.54
Sacrifice flies Troy White 75th 4
Saves Kyle Glancy 16th 8
Games Started Tony Manville 33rd 9
Jake Hermsen 33rd 9
THE GLUE THAT BINDS BEHIND THE PLATE
Senior Brett Frantini was selected to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List March 7, awarded to the nation's top-Division I catcher. So far in 2012 the Minooka, Ill. native has thrown out 18 runners attempting to steal base and has knocked in nine RBI with a home run, six doubles and 13 runs scored on 18 hits. Past recipients of the award include the Oakland A's Kurt Suzuki and the San Francisco Giants Buster Posey.
ANYTHING YOU CAN DO, I CAN DO BETTER
Northern Illinois has had the defensive edge over its opponents this season comitting two fewer errors this year than its opponents, 61-59. The Huskies have played eight errorless games this season, two of which were against nationally ranked teams (No. 11 Arizona State, No. 24 Texas Tech).
THE UBIQUITOUS ONE
It may just be a fancier word for utility man, but sophomore Alex Klonowski is ubiquitous on the diamond for Northern Illinois. In his 34 starts this season, the Kearney, Mo. native has started five different positions (2B, SS, 3B, RF, LF) and has made 13 relief appearances on the mound.
He has comitted three errors in the field, sports a .266 batting average, is first in home runs (three), third on the team in RBI (19) and second in doubles (six) at the plate. In his nine innings of work on the mound, Klonowski is 2-0, has struck out 18 batters, allowed 14 walks and an ERA of 6.39.
The Huskies are batting an impressive .391 (9-for-23) in pinch hitting situations with freshman Micah McCulloch leading the way with four hits in five pinch-hit situations (.800). He has accounted for three doubles in that stretch, including one that tied the Huskies with No. 18 St. John's at the Brooks Wallace Memorial Challenge in Lubbock, Texas Feb. 25 in the ninth inning. Joe Battaglia, Chris Divarco, Jordan Huffman and Michael Kane have also contributed a hit to the Huskies pinch-hitting annals, while Connor Duckhorn is 2-for-3 in pinch-hit situations.
BADGE OF HONOR
Redshirt junior Zach Badgley has been solid for the Huskies in his 14 relief appearances in 2012. The McHenry, Ill. native leads Northern Illinois in ERA with a 3.24 clip in 16.2 innings, and has allowed 14 hits, 14 strikeouts, 11 walks and six earned runs.
Normally, stealing from another would be frowned upon. But in baseball, its ok. Junior Jamison Wells currently has 19 stolen bases this season and racked up 27 for the Huskies last season, tying for the third most in a single season in program history. In his career Wells has accrued 58 stolen bases in 129 career appearances and is second all-time in NIU history. Alvin Maynard (1979-80) holds the career record (71) and single-season record (41).