Senior Jake Hermsen hurled eight scoreless innings, including four perfect stanzas, to clinch the series for Northern Illinois against Akron, 8-2.
The Huskies totaled 11 hits in the contest, including a three-run home run by Troy White in the bottom of the fourth.
“We came out with a new attitude today and that was big for us,” said head coach Ed Mathey. “We were able to take the series and that was our goal for the weekend. It helps when you have a player like Jake (Hermsen), who was throwing first pitch strikes to help the team and himself.”
The first three innings of the game flew right by as neither team recorded a hit or put a runner on base.
In the bottom half of the fourth, NIU opened the floodgates on a single by Jordan Huffman and Jeff Zimmerman reaching base on a deep fly to left field. Alex Klonowski followed with a single to drive in Huffman and White homered shortly thereafter to right center and to give the Huskies a 4-0 lead.
In the fifth inning, the Huskies starting rounding the bags as they tallied five hits and scored three runs to advance the lead, 7-0. Alex Jones and Zimmerman tallied an RBI apiece in the inning.
Jamison Wells reached base on a fielder’s choice in the sixth inning but soon made up for the first out of the inning. Wells stole his second base of the day and would score from second when Jones singled and got caught in a run down between the bases.
Hermsen continued to dazzle in the game surrendering three combined hits in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. He began his work in the ninth inning but soon gave up a single and a triple to give up the shutout.
Senior Kyle Glancy finished the game for Hermsen, who exited the field with a standing ovation from the fans at Ralph McKinzie Field. Glancy would record three strikeouts in the inning to end the ball game for Northern Illinois.
The NIU win clinched the Huskies first series win of the season and improved the team to 8-20 overall and 2-4 in the Mid-American Conference. The Zips are now 10-17 and 3-3 in the MAC. The Huskies will return to action Friday, April 6, for a three-game series with Ohio, beginning at 3:05 p.m.