For the first time since March 22-24 versus Kent State, the Northern Illinois baseball team (20-26, 14-7 MAC) dropped a series, falling in game three at Toledo (19-27, 10-11 MAC), 9-2.
“Toledo came out swinging the bat and won the game. There’s no doubt about that; that’s just how baseball works sometimes. They were the aggressor today and it’s unfortunate that it happened on Sunday with a chance for us to win the series,” said head coach Ed Mathey.
Toledo stormed out of the gate in the second inning, scoring five runs in the bottom half of the inning on six hits including two doubles.
Northern Illinois responded in the top of the third, capitalizing on a Toledo error as Connor Duckhorn (Darien/Cowley County) reached on a throwing error to first base. After advancing to second on a groundout, Duckhorn scored when Jamison Wells (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly) doubled down the left field line to make it 5-1.
Trailing 7-1 in the top of the sixth, Connor Schomig (Darien/Hinsdale South) doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning. After two groundouts, the second which sent Schomig to third, an Alex Klonowski (Kearney, Mo./Kearney) single through the left side scored Schomig to put the Huskies within five, 7-2.
Toledo would chalk a run in the bottom half of the frame and another in the bottom of the seventh to take a 9-2 lead. Both teams went scoreless in the remainder of the game.
“It’s tough to lose this one but I told the guys in post game we have a big week ahead of us. We have finals this week and series with Eastern Michigan coming to town to close out home schedule at Ralph McKinzie Field. We have a bus ride home to think about this weekend and what we need to do next weekend,” Mathey said.
Wells and Klonowski both finished 1-for-4 with an RBI in the game with Wells adding a double to his register. Schomig was 1-for-3 at the plate with a double and a run scored. From the mound, Ben Neumann (Verona, Wis./Verona Area) and Anthony Andres (Western Springs/St. Rita) combined for 1.2 perfect innings with Andres finishing the game for the Huskies in the eighth.
Northern Illinois returns to action next weekend for its final home stand of the season as it hosts Eastern Michigan from Friday, May 10, through Sunday, May 12, with Senior Day ceremonies taking place Sunday before the game.
For more information on NIU baseball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.