April 28, 2014
Tuesday, April 29: at UIC, 7:05 p.m.
Wednesday, April 30: vs Northwestern at Standard Bank Stadium (Crestwood, Illinois)
Directions to Standard Bank Stadium
Gametracker (UIC): UICFlames.com
GameTracker (NU): NIUHuskies.com
NIU’S PROBABLY STARTING PITCHERS
4/29 at UIC - RHP Andrew Frankenreider (0-0) 14.2 IP, 5.52 ERA, 13 K, 7 BB
4/30 vs Northwestern - LHP Jordan Ruckman (0-6) 39.1 IP, 7.78 ERA, 29 K, 32 BB
DeKALB - Coming off a 3-1 week that included a series victory over Western Michigan and two shutouts, the NIU Huskies (13-29-1) return to action for a pair of midweek games Tuesday and Wednesday as it takes on UIC (17-19) and Northwestern (12-28). Northern Illinois is 1-0 already this season against UIC and will be facing the Wildcats for the first time since 2012, a 2-1 loss for the Huskies at Elfstrom Stadium, home of the Chicago Cubs Class A affiliate, the Kane County Cougars.
Over the past five games, the Huskies are 4-1 and have been dynamic on the pitching mound as the Huskies have posted a 2.05 earned run average with a 27/16 strikeout to walk ratio. Alex Klonowski has been a big part of that with his 2-0 record, 0.50 ERA and two complete games. Klonowski has fanned 12 batters with three walks in the last two games.
For his recent effort, Klonowski was named MAC West Pitcher of the Week after tossing his second complete game shutout of the season at Western Michigan Sunday to defeat the Broncos, 1-0. Klonowski tied the single season record for shutouts in a season, tying the previous mark set by Pat Griffin in 1981.
Last weekend at Western Michigan, Northern Illinois won Saturday and Sunday’s contest via shutout as NIU defeated the Broncos by two runs Saturday and one run on Sunday. It was the first time since May 8, 1981 versus Ohio that NIU had won two-straight games against a MAC foe via shutout as the Huskies defeated the Bobcats, 3-0, 6-0, in a doubleheader under the direction of Hall of Fame Coach Walt Owens.
The Huskies five shutouts this season are the most by the program since 2011 and are only one shy of tying the school record for shutouts in a season. The 1964 Huskies, featuring future Hall of Famers Roger Dutton, Willie Hanson and Jack Merlett, finished 23-5 with six shutouts to win the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 10-2 record.
DeKalb local Brian Sisler has been one of the toughest outs in the Huskies lineup for most of the season, but has been nearly impossible to stop in the last five games as he boasts a 7-for-14 (.500) batting average with an on-base percentage of .635.
NIU is 5-6 this season in one-run games this season and posted two such wins last week, defeating UW-Milwaukee on Wednesday, 3-2, and WMU on Sunday, 1-0.
The Huskies and Flames were supposed to play Tuesday, April 15, however, due to moderate snowfall in DeKalb on Monday afternoon, the game was cancelled. Since the cancellation, UIC is 3-4 and is coming off of a series sweep at Valparaiso. Prior to that, Illinois-Chicago was swept by Wright State and followed up with a midweek loss last Wednesday at Purdue, 5-3. Overall this season, UIC is 17-19.
Northwestern is 12-28 and is 6-4 in their last 10 games and are coming off three-straight losses at Michigan State last weekend. The two will meet for the first time since 2012, after a scheduled meeting in 2013 was cancelled due to weather. In midweek games this season, the Wildcats are 5-1 with their only loss coming at the hands of MAC foe Eastern Michigan, whom NIU defeated in its series this season, 2-1. Matt Hopfner has been NU’s top-hitter, sporting a .353 batting average with 20 RBI to his credit.
Following its midweek affairs, the Huskies will head to two-time defending Mid-American Conference Champion Kent State for a series with the Golden Flashes, starting May 2 at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium.
The Last Meeting
March 18, 2014
Tenhagen's Three-run Homer in the Ninth Lifts NIU at UIC
After surrendering five runs in the bottom of the eight inning to trail UIC, 7-3, Northern Illinois (2-15-1) plated five runs in the top of the ninth inning to put out the Flames (4-10), 8-7. Senior Landon Tenhagen (Burlington, Wis./Madison Area Tech) hit a three-run homer ...
The Last Meeting
May 1, 2012
Geneva, Ill. (Elfstrom Stadium)
Huskies Fall to Wildcats, 2-1
Starting 90 minutes late with a rain delay and trailing in the bottom of the ninth to instate Big Ten foe Northwestern, Northern Illinois battled back to break a shutout and attempt its first walkoff win of the season. The Huskies could not overcome the deficit and fell to the Wildcats, 2-1 ...