Junior Eli Anderson (Glenview/New Trier) was named the Mid-American Conference’s West Division Pitcher of the Week Monday afternoon following his complete game shutout March 23 versus reigning College World Series participant Kent State.
The honor is the first of his career and the first for NIU this season.
The Huskie matched his career-best eight strikeouts Saturday versus the Golden Flashes, fanning eight while only walking three batters in the effort. He scattered six hits in the game and allowed the errorless defense that night to make plays behind him. Even with the frigid weather in Chicago, Anderson only allowed one runner on base in the final four innings as he walked a batter in the eighth inning of play.
When in trouble during his outing, he was able to stave off any damage intended towards the Huskies. He loaded the bases in the third inning with one out and fanned the final two batters to end the threat in the stanza. With runners on third and second in the fourth with one down, Anderson forced a line out and struck out the final batter to end the inning.
Anderson now leads the team with a 2-3 record, 3.20 ERA and 24 punch-outs from the bump. It was the first complete game shutout by an NIU pitcher since Jeremy Gonzales accomplished the feat April 10, 2011, versus Miami (Ohio).
The junior’s impressive outing was one of three complete game shutouts on the weekend, including no-hitters by Arizona State’s Ryan Kellogg and Murray State’s Cameron Finch.
The Huskies will return to the diamond Friday, March 29, for a three-game series at Akron to continue the MAC season.