Huskies Head to Kent State for Showdown with Golden Flashes

GO HUSKIES Freshman Carl Russell
GO HUSKIES
Freshman Carl Russell
GO HUSKIES

May 1, 2014

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Week 12
Northern Illinois Huskies (14-30-1; 8-10 MAC)
Kent State Golden Flashes (28-16; 12-6 MAC)
Kent, Ohio | Olga Mural Field Schoonover Stadium
Friday, May 2 at Kent State (5 p.m.)
Saturday, May 3 at Kent State (5 p.m.)
Sunday, May 4 at Kent State (noon)

Live Stats: KentStateSports.com
Live Audio: Golden Flashes iHeart Radio

NORTHERN ILLINOIS’ PITCHING ROTATION
Friday: LHP Anthony Andres (3-6)
   2014 stats: 54.1 IP, 3.64 ERA, 22 K, 33 BB, 1.71 WHIP
Saturday: RHP Eli Anderson (2-5)
   2014 stats: 71.0 IP, 3.93 ERA, 53 K, 24 BB, 1.35 WHIP
Sunday: RHP Alex Klonowski (3-4)
   2014 stats: 72.1 IP, 2.61 ERA, 48 K, 26 BB, 1.24 WHIP

KENT STATE’S PITCHING ROTATION
Friday: LHP Eric Lauer (7-2)
   2014 stats: 57.2 IP, 2.50 ERA, 46 K, 24 BB, 1.07 WHIP
Saturday: RHP Nick Jensen-Clagg (4-2)
   2014 stats: 52.0 IP, 4.67 ERA, 46 K, 13 BB, 1.35 WHIP
Sunday: LHP Brian Clark (4-6)
   2014 stats: 61.2 IP, 4.38 ERA, 45 K, 26 BB, 1.16 WHIP

LEADOFFS
• NIU tied the program record for shutouts in a season Wednesday versus Northwestern (6).
• The Huskies last won a series over Kent State in 2008 and at Schoonover Stadium in 2007.
• Northern Illinois is 5-5 in its last 10 games with a 3-3 mark in the MAC.
• Shortstop Brian Sisler is hitting .417 with an on-base percentage of .533 in the last 10 games.
Alex Klonowski has tossed two complete games in his last two starts and three in his last four.

DRAWING BLANKS
The Northern Illinois pitching staff has been rock solid as a collective unit as they’ve recorded six shutouts this season -- three combined and three complete games -- with three in the last four games. The Huskies are the Mid-American Conference leader in shutouts and are currently ranked No. 20 in the country in shutouts.

A TWO-WAY LEADER
Huskie Alex Klonowski has been a mainstay in the NIU batting lineup since his arrival in 2011 and has been a staple in the pitching staff since 2013. This season, Klonowski has been one of the strongest pitchers in the MAC and even the region. On the mound, Klonowski is ranked nationally in complete games (3, 26th), games started (11, 32nd), hits allowed per nine (7.09, 127th), and ERA (2.61, 216th). At the plate, the senior is ranked 131st in the country in toughest to strike out with a fan once every 11.5 at-bats.

DEFENSE WINS GAMES
NIU’s defense has been solid in 2014, statistically ranked in the top-100 for most of the season. With 36 double plays turned in 45 games, the Huskies are 85th in the NCAA in total plays made, while Northern Illinois’ fielding percentage has it ranked 92nd with a clip of .970.

SCOUTING KENT STATE
The Golden Flashes own a 28-16 record this season with a 12-6 clip in the Mid-Amercan Conference, placing them atop the MAC’s East division. Kent State opened the season at 2012 College World Series Champion Arizona, the same tournament KSU was involved in, and lost the series to the Wildcats. However, the Golden Flashes showed off their firepower in game two, defeating UA, 14-5. Last weekend, KSU lost its first conference series at Bowling Green, 2-1. Hitter Zarley Zalewski leads the team in average at a clip of .373 and is followed closely behind by Alex Miklos (.360) and Cody Koch (.341). The trio have combined for 108 of the Golden Flashes 257 RBI this season. The KSU pitching staff, led by southpaw Eric Lauer, has a combined earned run average of 3.84. Lauer carries the load with a clip of 2.50 in 57.2 innings. Nick Jansen-Clagg has the top strike/walk ratio on the staff with 46 strikeouts and 13 walks.

NEXT UP
The Huskies will start a two series home stand next weekend when they host their final MAC East foe, Akron. Northern Illinois will hold a blackout weekend and hold senior day festivities Sunday.