Northern Illinois closed its road season Tuesday night with a 10-run, 12-hit outing against UW-Milwaukee at Henry Aaron Field. Despite a 94-minute rain delay, the Huskies were able to keep their foot on the throttle and defeated the Panthers, 10-4.
Brett Frantini (Minooka, Ill.) finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a homerun and four RBI.
Northern Illinois struck first blood, started by a Michael Kane (Chicago/Notre Dame Prep) walk with one out and continued by the UWM third baseman who allowed Chris Divarco (Long Grove, Ill./Carmel Catholic) to reach base on an error. Frantini hit his third homerun of the season over the left centerfield wall to give NIU its 3-0 lead.
The Panthers scored one in the bottom of the half inning and tied the game up with two more runs in the bottom of the third on a ground-rule double by Sam Koenig and a sacrifice fly by Will Fadness. In the following inning, the Huskies took back the lead with a single by Frantini to make it a 4-3 game.
Pitcher Eli Anderson (Glenview, Ill./New Trier), who entered in the third inning, shutdown the Panthers in the fourth inning including a strikeout to end the fourth. Jacob Goldenberg (Syracuse, Ind./Wawasee) took the mound in the fifth and pitched through the sixth, striking out three batters and blanking Milwaukee in both innings.
When the seventh inning approached the Huskies began to string together hits, accounting for three runs in the inning on four hits. Jamison Wells (Combined Locks, Wis./Kimberly), Alex Beckmann (Batavia, Ill.), Alex Jones (Kansas City, Kan./Piper) and Troy White (Chicago/Whitney Young) tallied the four with Jones and White accounting for a RBI.
Alex Klonowski (Kearney, Mo.) stepped up to the plate in the seventh and the game was delayed by rain for 94 minutes. When play resumed, the sophomore doubled to score White and give NIU an 8-3 lead. UW-Milwaukee’s Paul Hoenecke doubled in the bottom of the eighth inning and cut the lead in half to make it an 8-4 game after eight.
In the ninth the Huskies continued to assault UWM, started by a Beckmann double and followed by a Jones walk. White singled to centerfield to drive in Beckmann from second and NIU continued to score when Klonowski singled through the left side to score White and increase the score, 10-4, where it ended as UWM was unable to generate any hits in the bottom of the ninth.
Anderson earned his second win of the season and evened his season record to 2-2 with his two inning, two strikeout and zero walk performance.
The Huskies improved to 15-37 in 2012 and will close the regular season at Ralph McKinzie Field this weekend with their final Mid-American Conference series against Ball State, beginning at 3:05 p.m. Thursday, May 17.