Trailing 3-1 in the top of the eighth innings, Northern Illinois rattled off eight runs in the final two innings to defeat Southern Illinois, 9-4.
The Salukis committed four errors in the contest, two of which occurred in the final innings.
“Our guys really put the pressure on them in the eighth inning and battled hard with two strikes on them,” said head coach Ed Mathey after the win. “We were able to generate the runs late and our pitchers were not shaken by the runs surrendered earlier and our bullpen did a great job of not allowing them to come back.”
The Huskies took the early lead with one run in the top of the second but the Salukis countered with one in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game, 1-1. SIU would capture the lead in the fifth with one run and add another in the sixth to increase its lead to 3-1.
Though senior Jake Hermsen (New London, Wis.) gave up three runs on the mound, he kept the Salukis off balance in the game and only surrendered six hits and struck out three batters.
In the top of the eighth, the Huskies took the lead when they scored three runs.
Freshman Micah McCulloch (Rochelle, Ill.) hit a screamer to first base that was misplayed by Chris Serritella which allowed NIU to take the lead. In the top of the ninth Northern Illinois notched five runs, including two that crossed when pitcher Tyler Dray beaned two batters.
Senior Troy White (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) led the Huskies in RBI, driving home two and was 1-for-3 at the plate. Classmate Alex Jones (Kansas City, Kan./Piper) and junior Jordan Rishavy (Rochester, Minn./John Marshall) scored two of the Huskies runs in the game. Alex Klonowski (Kearney, Mo.) pitched two innings and earned his second win of the season.
NIU (3-16) closes its weekend Sunday against Illinois. First pitch is at 11 a.m.