The Northern Illinois baseball team returns home for an eight-game home stand, beginning Tuesday afternoon when the Huskies take on perennial foe UW-Milwaukee at 3:05 p.m.
The Huskies have won four of the last five contests over the Panthers.
NIU played its first home game of the season last Tuesday when it hosted UIC, extinguishing the Flames 8-6, thanks in large part to a six run second inning.
Four different Huskies (Alex Jones, Alex Klonowski, Jamison Wells, Troy White) recorded multi-hit games against the Flames with White batting 1.000 for the day with three singles in his three at-bats in the game.
Last weekend, Northern Illinois was on the road for its Mid-American Conference opening series against Kent State.
The Huskies lost all-three games in the series to the defending MAC Champion and NCAA Regional Finalist, however held a 5-3 advantage after four innings on Friday before falling, 12-6. On Sunday the Huskies tied the Golden Flashes in the top of the seventh, 3-3, and surrendered two runs in the bottom half of the inning and dropped the game, 5-3.
White has been the most consistent Huskie over the past week, batting .429 (6-for-14), scoring two runs and driving in two, along with a double and a walk. The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Candidate has built a hitting streak for himself, batting safely in six-straight games.
Taylor Nawrocki, the MAC’s West Division Pitcher of the Week March 20th, had another brilliant performance on the mound at Kent, hurling seven innings and striking out an NIU career-high seven batters and walking only two.
Senior Jake Hermsen, NIU’s strikeout leader, is the anticipated pitcher for the Huskies against the Panthers Tuesday. The New London, Wis. native has made five starts on the mound this season, totaling 24 innings and striking out 22 batters. Though he has an 0-2 record, he has not recorded a decision since Feb. 25, an 8-5 loss at Texas Tech.
Milwaukee is 6-14 this season and currently on a four-game losing skid. The Panthers have already played six contests in the Horizon League and are 2-4, defeating Youngstown on March 16 and 17. Last weekend, UWM traveled to Valparaiso and was swept by the Crusaders, including two shutouts. On March 25, Milwaukee nearly defeated Valpo but fell 3-2.
Eric King will be making his first career start for the Panthers and has made four relief appearance, hurling 5.2 innings and owning an ERA of 7.94. At the plate Will Fadness is Milwaukee’s leader in several statistical categories, including batting average (.294), hits (20) and doubles (seven). Jonathon Capasso leads the team in home runs (two) and RBI (10).
The Huskies will resume Mid-American Conference play next weekend for a three-game series against Akron, beginning March 30.
For more information on NIU baseball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.