Huskies Meet Broncos In Final MAC Road Series

GO HUSKIES Senior Tom Barry
Senior Tom Barry

May 10, 2012

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DeKALB, Ill.
- The Huskies will hit the road for the final series away from Ralph McKinzie Field when they faceoff against Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, Mich., beginning May 11-13. In its last two MAC series on the road, Northern Illinois is 5-1 with series wins over Miami (Ohio) and Eastern Michigan.

- Northern Illinois is 5-1 in MAC road games in their last two road series.
- NIU has not lost a series to Western Michigan since 2006 (11-4).
- In Kalamazoo since 2007, the Huskies have won 4-of-6 games.
- Junior Jamison Wells is ranked 29th in the country in stolen bases this season and is eight stolen bases shy of setting the career record at Northern Illinois.
- Senior closer Kyle Glancy is 13th in the country in saves and No. 1 in the MAC.

FRIDAY         RHP Taylor Nawrocki (4-5) 76.1 IP | 4.95 ERA | 49 SO | 38 BB  
SATURDAY    LHP Jake Hermsen (3-6) 73.2 IP | 5.13 ERA | 64 SO | 37 BB
SUNDAY        To Be Announced

FRIDAY         LHP Casey Webber (3-4) 67.2 IP | 3.99 ERA | 41 SO | 27 BB
SATURDAY    LHP Steve Laudicina (5-4) 65.0 IP | 3.88 ERA | 33 SO | 27 BB
SUNDAY        RHP Will Nimke (3-3) 50.2 IP | 4.09 ERA | 24 SO | 17 BB

Fans can follow all three three games via Live Stats on 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.

Northern Illinois hosted Central Michigan last weekend for a three-game MAC series with the Chippewas, dropping all three contests at Ralph McKinzie field. On Saturday, pitcher Jake Hermsen hurled the Huskies first complete game of the season with a career-high 11 strikeout effort in the NIU’s 3-1 loss to CMU. Northern Illinois fell to 14-33 overall and 7-14 in conference with the three losses.

That’s what opposing players say when sophomore Alex Klonowski scoops a ground ball, dives for a fly ball, slaps a line drive or strikes them out on the mound. In its quintet of games last week Northern Illinois’ Mr. Everything had put up some of his best numbers in the Cardinal and Black. The Kearney, Mo. native was a model of consistency going 8-for-20 at the plate (.400) with two RBI. On the mound, he hurled two innings, three strikeouts, zero earned runs and won his third win decision of the year in an 11-9 triumph over at UIC May 2.

In their last two road series in the MAC, Northern Illinois is 5-1 with series victories over Miami (Ohio) April 13, 15 and Eastern Michigan April 27, 29. The Huskies swept the Redhawks for the first time in program history and took a pair in Ypsilanti, Mich. two weeks later to give NIU a 5-4 record on the road in the Mid-American Conference. The Huskies only series loss on the road came at the hands of Kent State in their opening series of MAC play March 23-25.

Senior Jake Hermsen was dealing on the mound Saturday afternoon against Central Michigan, hurling an 125 pitch complete game in the the Huskies 3-1 loss to CMU. Hermsen surpassed career-highs in strikeouts (11) and innings pitched in the contest (9). He also scattered six hits and surrendered three earned runs in the game. It was Hermsen’s second-career complete game, last pitching a seven inning complete game at Bradley April 26, 2011 (W, 14-1) and NIU’s first complete game of 2012.

The Huskies have played 13 errorles games this season and had a stretch of four-straight games without committing error April 25-29 against Bradley in a midweek tilt and in their series at EMU. It was the first time in 2012 that Northern Illinois went an entire series without an error.

Senior Jake Hermsen has struck out 64 batters this season and is ranked 131st in the country in that statistical catergory. Per nine innings, the New London, Wis. native is averaging 7.82 strikeouts a game. With 10 more strikeouts this season, he will tie for 10th-most in a single season NIU history, tying him with Mark Skrukrud in 2002.

In his last two starts, sophomore Eli Anderson has held a fantastic strikeout-to-walk ratio, fanning 15 and walking only two. On April 25 the sophomore totaled a career-high seven innings of work and a then-career high seven strikeouts with only one walk. On Wednesday night against UIC, he only last five innings but amassed a new season-high eight punchouts with only a walk. The Glenview, Ill. native owns a 1-2 record an ERA of 7.24 with five starts and 15 appearances under his belt.

The Broncos have been one of the Huskies preffered tastes over the as few seasons as Northern Illinois has won the last five series versus Western Michigan, last losing a series in 2006. In Kalamazoo since then, the Huskies are 4-2 with a pair of wins last season and another in 2009. Last season WMU took game one from NIU but the Huskies battled back in the games two and three to take the series. In 2009, NIU scored 21 runs on Western Michigan in game one of the series, marking the last time the Huskies surpassed the 20-run mark.

Western Michigan        
NIU trails WMU, 30-36-1 (Last nine: 7-2)
5/21/11    W 9-4
5/20/11    W 8-3
5/19/11    L 5-3
5/22/10    W 6-3
5/21/10    W 5-2
5/20/10    W 7-5
5/16/09    L 6-5
5/15/09    W 4-2
5/14/09    W 21-9

Western Michigan is 20-25 this season and an even 10-10 in Mid-American Conference play in 2012. WMU was last in action Tuesday afternoon, falling to Michigan State on Tuesday afternoon, 15-7, and was supposed to play Chicago State Wednesday but the game was cancelled due to scheduling conflicts. The Broncos are coming off of a MAC series victory, sweeping Ball State last weekend, 3-0. The Broncos have three season sweeps in 2012, recording them against Bowling Green and Buffalo as well.

Potency at the plate has been the Broncos game as they have four players batting over .300 this season with Troy Forton leading the way at a .353 clip this season in 27 games played and started. Ryan McMillin leads the squad in total bases (91), RBI (40), doubles (14) and homeruns (6). From the mound, the starting pitching battery of Will Nimke, Steve Laudicina and Casey Webber combine for an ERA of 3.98 in 33 starts this season and have combined for an 11-11 record. Patrick Borlik is 5-3 in 24 relief appearances with an opponents batting average of .258.

Senior Alex Jones has cranked out the two-baggers in 2012 totaling 18 in 46 games this season, putting him 22nd in the the NCAA in doubles/game (0.39). 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 third all-time in NIU history with 52 in 200 games played.

Junior pitcher Taylor Nawrocki has gone seven or more innings in seven of his last eight starts this season, including two-consecutive eight inning performances. A junior college transfer from North Iowa Area, the Fairmont, Minn., native carries a 4-5 record this season with an ERA of 4.95 and two combined shutouts to his record.

April 13 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.

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     24     22
Appearances    Kyle Glancy        27      24
Saves              Kyle Glancy        11       7

In three starts at catcher April 25, 27 and 29, sophomore Joe Battaglia had a big week for the Huskies and proved his worth. The Westchester, Ill. native was 5-for-9 at the plate with three runs, including a double and catching one runner stealing base. In 26 games this season Battaglia is batting .233 this season in 60 at-bats with nine runs, a homerun, a double and four RBI.

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 has 15 this season.

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 30 stats report. See for yourself.

Category                  Player               Rank    Actual
Doubles                     Alex Jones          22nd    18
Doubles/game            Alex Jones          25th    0.39
Triples                       Alex Jones         86th    4
Stolen bases              Jamison Wells    29th    23
Stolen Bases/game    Jamison Wells    36th    0.50
Sacrifice flies             Troy White        23rd    6
Saves                       Kyle Glancy       13th    11
Games Started          Tony Manville    29th    12
                                Jake Hermsen    29th    12

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 20 runners attempting to steal base and has knocked in 11 RBI with two homeruns, six doubles and 14 runs scored on 21 hits. Past recipients of the award include the Oakland A’s Kurt Suzuki and the San Francisco Giants Buster Posey.

It may just be a fancier word for utility man, but sophomore Alex Klonowski is ubiquitous on the diamond for Northern Illinois. In his 44 starts this season, the Kearney, Mo. native has started five different positions (2B, SS, 3B, RF, LF) and has made 15 relief appearances on the mound.

He has comitted four errors in the field, sports a .266 batting average, is second in home runs (3), fourth on the team in RBI (22) and third in doubles (7) at the plate. In his 14.2 innings of work on the mound, Klonowski is 3-0, has struck out 21 batters, allowed 16 walks and an ERA of 5.52

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 4.27 clip in 21.0 innings, and has allowed 17 hits, 17 strikeouts, 17 walks and 11 earned runs.

Northern Illinois will close its regular season next week when it hosts Ball State May 17-19 and will hold Senior Day Saturday May 19 against the Cardinals. The Huskies will also honor the 1972 baseball team that qualified for the NCAA Regional 40 years ago.



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