Northern Illinois baseball used all three facets of the game – pitching, fielding and hitting – to take down Arkansas State, 6-5, for the Huskies second-consecutive victory.
The Huskies committed zero errors, racked up 11 hits and senior Tony Manville (New Lenox, Ill./Mount Carmel) grinded out 7.1 innings for the victory.
“Starting pitching the last two days has been our strength and that has been the key to our wins,” said Ed Mathey. “Tony pitchePostd a great game and put us in a position to win. We played good defensively, and though their pitcher kept us off balance, we strung some hits together to score.”
The Huskies (2-11) and the Red Wolves (8-7) were in a dog fight through six innings. Sophomore Jeff Zimmerman (Tinley Park, Ill./Victor J Andrew) hit a solo home run to leadoff the inning, his first of the season, and ASU followed in the third with a run to tie the game, 1-1.
Sophomore catcher Joe Battaglia (Westchester, Ill./St. Joseph’s) hit the Huskies second leadoff solo home run of the game in the seventh inning, giving NIU a 3-2 lead. Zimmerman reached base on error later in the inning to drive home Alex Jones (Kansas City, Kan./Piper), who doubled for his only hit of the game. Battaglia was 3-for-4 in the game with two RBI and a run scored.
“Joe battled at the plate the today. He had a clutch at-bat to score a run a in the eighth and had an 11-pitch at bat when he hit his homerun in the seventh,” Mathey said.
In the eighth, Northern Illinois racked up three more hits and two runs to increase its lead, 6-2. Junior Jordan Rishavy (Rochester, Minn./John Marshall), who drove in yesterday’s winning run with a double, again drove in the deciding rounder on a fielder’s choice.
The Red Wolves began to rally with two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, leading to Anthony Andres (Western Springs, Ill./St. Rita) entry into the game. Andres recorded one out in the inning and allowed one hit which brought in closer Kyle Glancy (Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park-River Forest).
Glancy recorded the final out of the eighth and found himself in a jam in the bottom of the ninth, allowing one run and allowing two more runners on base. With two outs and two on, Zach George stepped up to the plate and grou
nded out to second basemen Jordan Huffman (Sergaent Bluff, Iowa) to seal the Huskies second win and give Glancy his second save in as many games.
Manville, who earned his first win of 2012, pitched 7.1 innings for the Huskies and surrendered 10 hits, but only allowed one walk with three strikeouts. The Iowa transfer is now 1-2 for the season.
For more information on NIU baseball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.