True grit carries NIU in Game Three of the series
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, senior Kyle Glancy (Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park-River Forest) forced a groundout to second base to secure Northern Illinois’ second road series of the season with a 3-1 win over Eastern Michigan.
It was Glancy’s 10th save of the season.
“It’s huge to get a series win on the road. This series has been a close one over the last few years and the games are always a battle, decided by a couple runs each time. We just need to start protecting our home field advantage now,” said head coach Ed Mathey after the game.
“Tony Manville pitched absolutely outstanding today and did a great job of working the lower corners of the strike zone, commanding the batters to keep them off balance.”
The Huskies struck first blood in the top of the sixth inning, started by a leadoff double by Joe Battaglia (Westchester, Ill./St. Joseph). The sophomore catcher had an easy single, but hustled out the double and narrowly missed the tag on his head first slide to second. Jamison Wells (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly) laid down a sacrifice bunt down the third baseline and reached base on the pitchers errant throw to score Battaglia and advance Wells to second.
With the speedy Wells on second base, EMU second baseman Austin Williams checked Wells at the bag to fake a pickoff but the keen eye of Jordan Huffman (Sergaent Bluff, Iowa) hit the ball to where Williams was supposed to be and scored Wells for the Huskies second run of the game.
NIU swung hot sticks again in the top of the eighth as it recorded three straight singles with one out in the inning. Battaglia lead the charge with his single and made his way to third on an Alex Beckmann (Batavia, Ill.) single to right field. Wells sent the next ball to right field to score Battaglia and increase Northern Illinois’ lead, 3-0. The Eagles scored one run in the bottom of the eighth with a single by Adam Dennison and a triple by Ben Magsig.
Starting pitcher Tony Manville (New Lenox, Ill./Mt. Carmel) had a quality start for the Huskies as he hurled 7.1 innings, striking out five and walking a mere two runners. Manville only surrendered one run in the ball game and in his 30 batters faced, the Huskie whizzed 16 first strike pitches to EMU batters. He earned his second win of the season on the mound.
Glancy (Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park-River Forest) took over for Manville and Inherited runners on first and third. He made short work of the Eagles in the eighth as he forced a shallow fly ball to left field that did not advance the runners and struck out Tucker Rubino swinging to end the inning.
The Eagles put two runners on base and advanced the runners to second and third on a sacrifice bunt down the third base line for the first out of the inning. The Oak Park, Ill. native fanned Dennison swinging for the fences for the second out and loaded the bases when he walked Magsig.
Glancy earned his 10th save of the season in dramatic fashion as Brent Ohrman grounded to Alex Klonowski (Kearney, Mo.) and rifled a ball to Jeff Zimmerman (Tinley Park, Ill./Victor J Andrew) to beat Ohrman by half-a-step and secure the win.
Wells finished the day 2-for-3 at the plate with one run, an RBI, a sacrifice hit and a stolen base, his 23rd of the season. Battaglia lead the Huskies with two runs on the day on two hits, including a double.
The Huskies return back to the Land of Lincoln for a Tuesday night game and will play host to Northwestern at Elfstrom Stadium, home of the Kane County Cougars. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.