The Northern Illinois baseball team took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on four hits, but faltered late in the game against Ohio, surrendering nine runs in the final two innings and falling, 13-2.
“We had a really disappointing game. We took a good, Friday MAC baseball game through six innings and we turned it into a debacle and that just can’t happen, but it did,” said head coach Ed Mathey.
“Our bullpen has got to come in and keep us within striking distance. Taylor (Nawrocki) pitched well but we had to pull him because of his high pitch count. One game does not make a series, but we have to recollect and figure out how we’re going to attack tomorrow.”
Ohio (14-15, 4-3 MAC) started hot in the first inning and loaded the bases on two walks and single, but Taylor Nawrocki got out of the jam on a pair of fly outs to end the inning.
Northern Illinois (8-21, 2-5 MAC) scored two runs in the bottom of the second, scoring the first on a double by Troy White that drove in Alex Klonowski from first and tacked on the second on a Brett Frantini fielder’s choice to take a 2-0 lead.
The Bobcats took the lead with four runs in the sixth inning on four hits and two errors.
OU would combine for nine more runs in the eighth and ninth innings for their final 13-2 lead. Brett Barber entered the game in the seventh inning with the score 4-2 and finished the game for Ohio, earning his third save of the season.
The NIU pitching staff accounted for 10 strikeouts in the game, seven of which came from the bullpen.
Eli Anderson struck out four batters, catching all of the Bobcats looking at a called strike three. Zach Badgley and Nawrocki also recorded a backwards K on the stat sheet. The Huskies combined for seven hits in the game, with Alex Beckmann totaling two in the game.
The Huskies will look to get back on track tomorrow afternoon against the Bobcats in game two of the series. First pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m. Jake Hermsen will be in the hunt for third-straight victory on the mound for NIU.
For more information on NIU baseball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.