Trailing 2-0 in the sixth inning, Northern Illinois tied Saint Louis with a string of hits by the top of the Huskies lineup, 2-2.
But the Billikens countered with five runs in the bottom of the eighth to take the ball game, 7-2, at Billikens Sports Center.
“We didn’t take advantage of our situational hitting today against Saint Louis,” said associate head coach Steve Joslyn.
“Taylor (Nawrocki) and Jake (Goldenberg) did a good job for us on the mound today and gave us a chance. We could’ve played better defensively but we saw some good things at the plate. Micah (McCulloch) capitalized as a pinch hitter again, hitting another double.”
Junior Taylor Nawrocki (Fairmont, Minn./Granada-Huntley-East Chain) started on the hill for the Huskies, pitching five innings for the Huskies and had one of his best outings for the Cardinal and Black.
Nawrocki surrendered four hits, four walks and two runs, one in the second and another in the third. In the first inning, the Fairmont, Minn. native pitched a clean sheet by retiring the side.
In the top of the sixth, the Huskies began battling back with three-consecutive hits by Jamison Wells (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly), Jordan Huffman (Sergaent Bluff, Iowa) and Alex Jones (Kansas City, Kan./Piper). Jones single drove in Wells from third base and NIU added its final run when Jeff Zimmerman (Tinley Park, Ill./Victor J Andrew) flied out and drove home Huffman to tie the game on sacrifice, 2-2.
Junior Jacob Goldenberg (Syracuse, Ind./Wawasee) pitched a perfect sixth inning and only allowed one base runner in the seventh. He faced the first four batters in the eighth inning, surrendering one, and was replaced by Zach Badgley (McHenry, Ill.) and retired the last two batters for NIU. The Billikens would finish the inning with a 7-2 lead.
Freshman Micah McCulloch (Rochelle, Ill.) entered the contest in the ninth inning and tallied his fourth pinch hit of the season and his third double of the year, ripping one down the left field line. It was the only hit of the inning for Northern Illinois and Huskies would drop their second-straight contest.
The Huskies (2-13) will get their shot at redemption Wednesday, March 14, when they face Saint Louis (12-5) at 3 p.m. at Billikens Sports Center.