Huskies Close Regular Season Versus Ball State

GO HUSKIES Troy White is one of eight seniors on this year's team
GO HUSKIES
Troy White is one of eight seniors on this year's team
GO HUSKIES

May 16, 2012

DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois baseball team will close its regular season with a three game series against Ball State, beginning Thursday May 17 and concluding Saturday May 19. The Huskies will honor their eight seniors on the squad before the season finale and will also have a 40th anniversary reunion for the 1972 NCAA Regional Qualifying baseball team that same day.

TALE OF THE TAPE

Northern Illinois
Overall | 15-37
MAC | 7-17
Home | 4-12
Away | 9-17
Neutral | 2-8

Ball State
Overall | 11-36
MAC | 6-18
Home | 6-10
Away | 4-26
Neutral | 1-0

Northern Illinois Pitching Rotation
Thursday: RHP Taylor Nawrocki (4-6) | 78.0 IP | 5.19 ERA | 50 SO | 39 BB
Friday: LHP Jake Hermsen (3-7) | 82.0 IP | 5.11 ERA | 66 SO | 39 BB
Saturday: RHP Tony Manville (2-8) | 76.2 IP | 5.75 ERA | 33 SO | 25 BB

Ball State Pitching Rotation
Thursday: RHP TJ Weir (2-9) | 68.0 IP | 5.96 ERA | 54 SO | 22 BB
Friday: RHP Chris Marangon (1-7) | 62.2 IP | 4.02 ERA | 33 SO | 25 BB
Saturday: RHP Cal Bowling (3-3) | 68.0 IP | 4.10 ERA | 62 SO | 18 BB

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS
"Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song. I'll try not to sing out of key." The Huskies are still in the hunt for a Mid-American Conference Tournament berth this weekend and could do so with a sweep of Ball State, but will need help from around the conference. Here's how it plays out…

- Miami (Ohio) would need to get swept by Ohio
- Akron would need get swept by Kent State
- The series between Bowling Green or Buffalo could not end with a sweep. One of the two teams would have to win two and lose one.

Why all this? The Huskies (7-17 MAC) defeated the Redhawks (10-14 MAC) and the Zips  (10-14 MAC) earlier this season and own the tiebreaker should the teams get swept. NIU did not play the Bulls (8-15 MAC) or the Falcons (8-15 MAC) this year and would tie with one of the two teams and capture the last two spots open in the tournament field.

SCOUTING THE CARDINALS
Ball State is riding a 10-game losing streak and is 11-36 overall this season and 6-18 in conference play. The Cardinals last win occurred April 22, a 5-4 10 inning affair versus Eastern Michigan, where BSU also recorded a series victory over the Eagles. Since that win the team has been swept in series by Toledo, Western Michigan and Central Michigan.

Doubling as a pitcher and an infielder, T.J. Weir is the Cardinals leader in RBI with 23, as well as doubles with nine. On the mound, Weir leads the team in innings pitched (68.0) and carries a 2-9 record, along with a 6.96 earned run average. He is Thursday's starting pitcher. He has also struck out 54 batters, while only walking 22. Billy Wellman is the power in the lineup with four home runs and 23 RBI and seven doubles. Wellmann also owns a .322 batting average and a .540 slugging percentage in 87 at-bats this season.

AND NOW THE END IS NEAR
The following players will be donning the Cardinal and Black in the regular season for the last time Saturday afternoon for Northern Illinois. Entering this weekend, the Huskies have played a combined for 994 games and 798 starts.

Tom Barry, P, Orland Park, Ill.
Alex Beckmann, OF, Batavia, Ill.
Brett Frantini, C, Minooka, Ill.
Kyle Glancy, P, Oak Park, Ill.
Jake Hermsen, P, New London, Wis.
Alex Jones, SS, Kansas City, Kan.
Tony Manville, P, New Lenox, Ill.
Troy White, 3B, Chicago, Ill.

WELCOME BACK CLASS OF '72
Celebrating their 40th anniversary of qualifying for the NCAA Baseball Regional and Midwestern Conference Championship, the 1972 baseball team will be at the game and honored for their unprecedented accomplishment. The team finished the regular season 24-6 and won the Midwestern conference with a 7-2 record, advancing to the NCAA Tournament at Bowling Green. There the Huskies fell to BGSU (2-0) and Iowa (8-1) to close the campaign 24-8. The team was inducted into the NIU Hall of Fame in 2008.

For news and updates on Northern Illinois baseball, visit NIUHuskies.com, or follow on Twitter @NIUAthletics or @NIU_Baseball or on Facebook at Facebook.com/NIUHuskies.