Facing a no-hitter, the Northern Illinois baseball team surged in the top of the ninth inning with three hits and two runs to tie No. 24 Texas Tech, 2-2.
However, the Red Raiders had their own surge in the bottom -half of the inning to defeat the Huskies, 3-2.
“We’re playing with a lot of heart right now and I’m proud of our team’s effort today,” said NIU skipper Ed Mathey. “Texas Tech entered the ninth with a no-hitter and called on their closer John Neely, who’s a pretty good draft prospect this year, and we battled back to break up the shutout and tie the ball game.”
Senior Tony Manville (New Lenox, Ill./Mount Carmel) started the contest for the Huskies and pitched a solid seven innings, surrendering five hits, two walks and his lone earned run on a balk in the third inning.
“Tony pitched a great game for us and kept us in the ball game against a nationally ranked opponent. Even though he gave up the balk, he did a great job on the mound and gave us a chance to win” said Mathey.
Sophomore Alex Klonowski (Kearney, Mo.) entered in the eighth for Manville and pitched 0.2 innings, striking out two batters in that frame and surrendering a run that would give TTU a 2-0 lead.
Senior Kyle Glancy (Oak Park, Ill.) would close the inning for Klonowski and setup the Huskies charge.
Junior Jamison Wells (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly) led off for NIU in the top of the ninth inning with a double to left field and was promptly advanced to third base on a Klonowski (Kearney, Mo.) grounder to shortstop.
With one out, senior Alex Jones (Kansas City, Kan./Piper) hit a hard chopper to shortstop, that was stopped by the infielder, but was able to beat out the throw and score Wells to cut the lead in half, 2-1.
After sophomore Jeff Zimmerman (Tinley Park, Ill./Victor J Andrew) reached first on a fielder’s choice to give NIU its second out of the inning, senior Troy White found himself down 0-2 in the count and sent a double to right field. The sliced ball scored pinch runner Connor Schomig (Darien, Ill./Hinsdale South) from first base to tie the game, 2-2.
In the bottom of the ninth, Texas Tech batter Bryant Burleson struck out to lead the inning, but Brennan Moore singled to left field and freshman Tim Proudfoot hit a walkoff triple to right field and give the Red Raiders the game’s final lead, 3-2.
Northern Illinois is now 0-7 this season and 0-2 versus nationally ranked opponents. However in both contests against the nationally ranked foes, the Huskies have managed to tie their foes in the top half of the ninth inning. NIU returns to action Thursday when it opens the four-day Coca Cola Classic in Surprise Ariz., against Winthrop (0-7).
For more information on NIU baseball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.