After earning first team honors at second base in 2013, Klonowski was voted to the second team as a starting pitcher this season. Klonowski is the first NIU baseball player since Joe Plaskas in 1960-61 to earn all-conference honors in the field and as a pitcher in his career.
“Alex had a fine year on the mound and if we had our normal run production this season, he would have had a few more wins and I think he would’ve been a first team selection,” said head coach Ed Mathey. “He led the league in shutouts and batting average against and was top-three in ERA this season. He had a great career with us and we’re happy he was a Huskie.”
In only his second season as a starting pitcher for Northern Illinois University, Klonowski set the NIU single season record for shutouts in a season with three, tying the career record as well. His shutout total led the MAC and tied him for second-most in the country.
The Kearney, Missouri native posted 14 starts and a 4-6 record with an earned run average of 2.38 in 94.2 innings, only allowing opposing batters to a .215 batting average. With a walks and hits per inning average (WHIP) of 1.10, Klonowski only allowed 16 extra base hits this season, with zero home runs. He also tossed four complete games.
His showcase performance this season occurred April 6 versus Toledo, when the senior tossed the first nine inning one-hitter in program history and the first one-hitter since April 1, 1997 (seven innings). Klonowski and the Huskies defeated the Rockets, 7-0.
The senior had 10 quality starts in 14 nods on the mound, giving up three or fewer earned runs in 12 of his appearances. The Huskies got a taste of what was to come on their spring break trip March 8 at No. 5 Oregon State as he tossed five innings against the Beavers, striking out four and only allowing one hit. Klonowski would exit the mound after five innings, however, after sustaining injury in the fifth. NIU would fall to fifth ranked OSU in the contest, 2-0.
Prior to the 2014 season, Klonowski was named one of the top Major League Baseball draft prospects in the Mid-American Conference by Baseball America. The 2014 MLB Draft will begin Thursday, June 5.
For more information on NIU baseball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.