Northern Illinois jumped out to early lead at Southern Illinois and created chances to separate itself from the Salukis but were unable to add to the lead and fell in game two of the doubleheader, 4-2.
Jeff Zimmerman (Tinley Park/Andrew) finished 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles.
“We didn’t seize our opportunities when we had them to score more runs and spread ourselves out and we need to get better that,” said head coach Ed Mathey.
“We pitched well enough, we played defense well enough to win those ball games, as long as we hit. Our guys are aware of that and they might be putting too much pressure on themselves because of it. But, as long as we hit, we can win ball games with performances like we had today.”
Following their defeat in Game One of the doubleheader, the Huskies (2-12) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first following a single by Tommy Hook (Lockport/Lockport Township) and a double by Zimmerman to put NIU in scoring position. Alex Klonowski (Kearney, Mo./Kearney) grounded out to first base but was able to score Hook and put Zimmerman on third. Brian Sisler (DeKalb/DeKalb) had a chance to tack on another run with a shot to centerfield but the ball hung high to end the inning.
Starting pitcher Eli Anderson (Glenview/New Trier) put zeroes on the board through five innings of work but ran into trouble in the sixth, ending his day with 5.2 innings pitched, three strikeouts, three walks and three runs allowed.
The Huskies had a chance to respond in the seventh inning as it loaded the bases with a walk by Zimmerman, Klonowski being hit by a pitch and a single by Sisler with one out.
NIU would end the inning following a popup by Connor Duckhorn (Darien/Cowley County CC) and a strikeout by Joe Battaglia (Westchester/St. Joseph). SIU (8-6) added another run in seventh inning to increase its lead, 4-1.
Northern Illinois tallied one run in the eighth inning with the Huskies earning a trio of walks in the inning. With the bases loaded Zimmerman hit the ball back to the pitcher, who threw Connor Schomig (Darien/Hinsdale South) out at home but an error by the catcher on the throw to first base pushed Zimmerman to second and brought Wells home to cut the deficit, 4-2.
The Huskies left 14 runners on base in the contest.
The Huskies now have two days rest and will return to action Tuesday afternoon for a two-game midweek series at Murray State. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.