First Place Huskies Host Miami (Ohio)

GO HUSKIES McCulloch drove in NIU's first run of the game at Iowa Wednesday night on a double down the left field line
McCulloch drove in NIU's first run of the game at Iowa Wednesday night on a double down the left field line

April 25, 2013

Week 11 Notes (PDF) | @NIU_Baseball (Twitter)

NORTHERN ILLINOIS (16-22, 11-4 MAC) vs. MIAMI (OHIO) (19-20, 9-6 MAC)

Day/Opponent/Time                           Coverage
Friday: vs. Miami (Ohio), 3:05 p.m.        GameTracker | @NIUscores
Saturday: vs. Miami (Ohio), 1:05 p.m.    GameTracker | @NIUscores
Sunrday: vs. Miami (Ohio), 1:05 p.m.     GameTracker | @NIUscores

Day/Pitcher                                     Last Start
Friday: LHP Jordan Ruckman (1-5)     (L at Ohio 4/19) 5.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Saturday: RHP Eli Anderson (5-3)      (W at Ohio 4/20) 8.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
Sunrday: RHP Alex Klonowski (4-4)    (W at Ohio 4/21) 7.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

Day/Pitcher                                   Last start
Friday: RHP Brooks Fiala (5-4)          (W vs. Ball State 4/19) 8.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K
Saturday:RHP Mac Thoreson (2-6)    (L vs. Ball State 4/20) 5.1 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Sunrday: LHP Seth Varner (1-5)       (ND vs. Ball State 4/21) 4.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

• Northern Illinois (11-4) is tied for the top spot in the Mid-American Conference with Buffalo.
• The Huskies own a three game lead over Eastern Michigan in the MAC West.
• NIU’s 11-4 start in conference play is the Huskies best ever start in the MAC, surpassing 2011’s 10-5 mark.
• The Huskies pitching staff ranks first in the MAC in earned run average at 2.64
• The Huskies are 9-5 in the month of April. NIU was 13-6 in 2011, the best April under Coach Mathey.
Jamison Wells and Jeff Zimmerman lead the MAC in conference steals (10) and hits (23), respectively.

With an 11-4 record in the Mid-American Conference, the Huskies stand atop the conference with Buffalo. Northern Illinois is three games ahead of Eastern Michigan for the lead in the MAC West. NIU has never finished higher than second in the West division, doing so in 2008.

Since he began donning red with white striped stirrups last weekend in Ohio, freshman Tommy Hook has been one of the toughest outs in the NIU lineup. The Lockport Township graduate is 9-for-16 (.563) with six runs, a double, a triple and two RBI in his last four games. Along with three walks, Hook owns a .632 on-base percentage over this stretch.

Since the start of the Mid-American Conference play (March 22), the Huskies are 62-for-219 (.283) with two outs on them, including 47 runs. Compared with its opponents in two outs situations, Northern Illinois is outhitting its opponents by 37 points (.283-.236) and has outscored its foes, 47-26, en route to a 12-7 record. 13 different players have registered RBI in that span with Alex Klonowski paving the way with seven runs batted in.

Junior Eli Anderson has been a dominate force for the Huskies on Saturdays since conference play started, as he has pitched all but one inning for the Huskies in Saturday affairs (44 IP). The product of Glenview sports a flawless 5-0 record with a 0.61 ERA, 39 strikeouts and eight walks. Along with four complete games in five starts, Anderson also has a 0.82 WHIP in MAC contests.

Per NCAA Statistics weekly report issued April 22, junior Alex Klonowski is 78th in the country out of 150 in the toughest to strike out category. The Kearney, Mo. native has only struckout 11 times in 141 at-bats this season. Klonowski is second on the team in batting average with a .291 clip.

Jamison Wells IS VERY FAST
Senior Jamison Wells, Northern Illinois’ all-time leader in stolen bases at 83, has been a force to be reckoned with on the base paths, stealing 19 bases to rank 30th in the country. As a lead off man, Wells carries a .270 batting average with a team-high 22 walks to sport a .394 on-base percentage. He uses his speed for other purposes as well, doubling as a wide receiver on the NIU football team. Wells played in all 14 games last season, including the Orange Bowl, catching 16 passes for 180 yards.

The Huskies and the Redhawks squared off last season in Oxford, Ohio and NIU emerged flawlessly from the battle as it swept Miami for the first time ever in program history, taking Friday’s game, 8-7, before busting the brooms out in a Sunday double header, 7-5, 13-11, to extend a five game winning streak versus MU.

As has been the trend under Head Coach Ed Mathey, the Huskies have defended their home turf Ralph McKinzie Field well this year as they own a 4-1 record in 2013. In his 11 seasons in charge of the baseball program, Mathey and Huskies are 112-79-1 (.586) at The Ralph. Only twice in that span, 2012 and 2005, has Northern Illinois had losing seasons at home. In fact, NIU has posted double digit wins at home seven times under Mathey, including a program high 18 in 2003.

Miami (Ohio) has remained consistent this season as it owns a 19-20 overall record, including a 9-6 mark in Mid-American Conference contests.. The Redhawks, like the Huskies, have won all but one of their series this season as MU was swept by Kent State April 12-14, whom they share a tie for third place in the conference standings with. Miami opened MAC play by sweeping Eastern Michigan March 22-23. Friday starter Brooks Fiala has been a grinder for the Redhawks, hurling 71.1 innings this season with a 5-4 record and a 2.65 ERA. While opponents have hit .234 off of him, Fiala has also managed to strikeout 73 batters, tying him for 18th in the country, while walking only 15. John Crummy leads the team in batting average at .343 and has also driven in 21 RBI. Alex Johnson is the brawn of the lineup with 13 doubles, three homeruns, 31 RBI with a .283 average.

That junior Alex Klonowski is only 1-of-19 players in Division I baseball to be in the team’s weekend pitching rotation as well as the team’s starting lineup when not pitching? Klonowski is the Huskies starting second baseman when not appearing on the mound. Getting it done in both facets, Klonowski is hitting .290 with a team-leading 22 RBI is in the country’s top-100 toughest batters to strikeout with only 11 strikeouts in 145 at-bats. On the mound, he is 4-4 with a 3.68 ERA, two complete games and 66.0 innings pitched.

The Huskies wil hit the road for a pair of midweek contests in the Land of Lincoln April 30 and May 1 as NIU takes on Bradley and UIC.

The Last Meeting
Northern Illinois7
Miami (Oh)5
April 15, 2012
Oxford, Ohio
Huskies Clinch Series Over Miami With 7-5 Triumph
Northern Illinois and Miami (Ohio) played a thriller in game one of their doubleheader, as the Huskies scattered 15 hits and defeated the Redhawks to clinch the series, 7-5 ...



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