Huskies drop final game of weekend series

DeKALB – NIU baseball’s cold bats persisted as they could only muster one run in the final game of the opening season series against the Oral Roberts University Golden Eagles. 

The Huskies could not find their first win in the weekend series against the Golden Eagles. NIU was shutout in the final game of the four-game set on Sunday before scoring their first run with two outs in the ninth, falling by a final score of 6-1. The Huskies were outscored in the series 32-7. 

The Huskies’ biggest struggle was the inability to hit with runners on base and in scoring position. NIU totaled eight hits in the game and only managed to score one run, while leaving 10 men on base. 

Senior pitcher Brandon McPherson got the start for NIU in their series finale against Oral Roberts. McPherson totaled three innings of work, surrendering zero runs on two hits, while also picking up three strikeouts on 50 pitches. This was McPherson’s first appearance in almost two years, as he had been battling injuries. 

“Brandon was electric on the mound in his first appearance in almost two years after an injury,” said head coach Mike Kunigonis. “He was great and I’m very excited for him and his family seeing his success.”

Huskie junior pitcher DJ Hess was the first man out of the bullpen, starting work in the fourth inning. Hess gave up five runs on five hits in his three innings of work and picked up the loss. 


Oral Roberts started the scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning when redshirt junior Holden Breeze hit a sacrifice fly to score senior Jake McMurray, which made the score 1-0. The Golden Eagles picked up a second run after junior Jonah Cox hit an RBI groundout. 

Redshirt senior Matt Hogan faced Hess in the fifth inning. Hogan worked the count to 3 balls and no strikes (3-0) and drove a fastball long over the wall for his second three-run home run of the weekend, extending the Golden Eagles’ lead to 5-0.

Oral Roberts picked up its sixth and final run of the contest in the seventh inning after Hogan hit a ground ball to second base and the Huskies failed to turn what would have been an inning-ending double play. The play allowed McMurray to score the sixth run. 


The Huskies grabbed their first and only run with two outs in the ninth inning. Senior outfielder Malik Peters hit a two-out double to get on base, junior infielder Eric Erato singled up the middle and pinch hitter junior Brandon Johnson walked to load the bases. Junior outfielder Colin Summerhill banged a ground ball in between third and short to score Peters. 

“This might not have been the weekend outcome that we wanted, but I believe this group has a chance to be up there with some of the great Huskie teams of the past,” Kunigonis said via NIU Athletics. “We just need to do the things we’ve all seen the past seven months.” 

The Huskies’ next game will be at 1 p.m. on Friday in Cary, North Carolina against Monmouth University at the USA Baseball Complex.