Huskies end home-opening series with doubleheader split


Tim Dodge

Junior infielder Andre Demetral (1) leads off first base during NIU baseball’s home opener against Ohio on March 24. The Huskies lost the game by a final score of 11-2. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

By Zachary Bertram, Sports Reporter

DeKALB – NIU baseball (5-17, 2-7 MAC) split the final two games of the three-game series against the Ohio University Bobcats (7-14, 5-4 MAC) Sunday. The Huskies lost game one 16-12 and won game two 11-1. 

Pitching struggles cost the Huskies game one, as they gave up four home runs and 21 hits. NIU senior pitcher Brandon McPherson dominated game two, allowing just one earned run on two hits in six innings pitched.


The Huskies jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but due to poor pitching and the offense slowing down, they were unable to secure the win. Bobcat junior infielder Alec Patino’s 5-for-6 and three RBI performance helped Ohio storm back.

NIU junior pitcher Jacob Wilde struggled on the mound. Despite the Huskies taking a 10-0 first inning lead, Wilde was unable to record the win, giving up nine earned runs on 10 hits in 2.2 innings pitched. Junior pitcher Mitchel Hemmen started for Ohio and lasted just 0.1 innings. Hemmen gave up seven earned runs on four hits and three walks. 

NIU jumped out to a massive early lead, putting up 10 first-inning runs. Junior infielder Aaron Harper drove in four runs in the first inning by way of a three-run homer and a sacrifice fly. Junior catcher Colin Summerhill added an RBI (runs batted in) double to score junior right fielder Eric Erato. Erato and junior infielder Andre Demetral each scored two first inning runs. The Huskies added five more runs from three walks and two passed balls. 

After scoring two runs in the second inning, Ohio got back into the game on a grand slam by junior infielder Gideon Antle in the third inning to cut NIU’s lead to just two runs. Patino added an RBI single in the third to draw within one run, at 10-9. 

Demetral briefly stopped the bleeding with an RBI groundout in the third inning, but Ohio’s offense didn’t slow down. The Bobcats took a 14-11 lead with a five-run fourth inning, highlighted by a two-run home run from Patino. 

After Ohio added two more runs and NIU added one more run over the last four innings, Ohio sophomore pitcher Dillon Masters recorded the final three outs to secure the 16-12 win for the Bobcats. 


The Huskies bounced back in a big way in game two, slaughtering Ohio 11-1 in seven innings to earn their first home win of the season. 

Summerhill and Demetral led the way offensively for NIU, combining for eight RBI. Summerhill went 2-for-3 with five RBI, including a double and a home run. Demetral went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. 

“Our guys showed a lot of character to come back and win game two,” said NIU baseball head coach Mike Kunigonis via NIU Athletics. “They do the right things and put all the work in. You don’t do what they did in game three of this series without having that want to keep on working hard, do the right thing, and eventually things start to come your way.”

McPherson ended the Huskies’ pitching woes with a dominant performance on the mound. In six innings of work, McPherson allowed one earned run on two hits and struck out four batters. Ohio junior pitcher Trent Spoon suffered the loss, allowing nine earned runs on 11 hits in four innings pitched. 

“We needed a good start and Brandon delivered when we needed it the most,” Kunigonis.

Ohio struck first when Minzey hit his second home run of the day in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. After the home run, McPherson allowed just one hit over the next five innings.

The Huskies again had a big first inning in game two, scoring seven runs in the frame. Summerhill blasted a three-run home run to put NIU in front 3-1. Sophomore catcher Kaden Kosobucki added on with a two-run homer to extend the Huskies’ lead to 5-1. Demetral recorded a two-RBI double to score junior infielders Mason Kelley and Andrew Smart, giving NIU a 7-1 lead heading into the second inning. 

The Huskies added four more runs from the fourth to sixth innings to extend the lead to 11-1. Senior pitcher Nick Bonk put the finishing touches on the Huskies’ first home win of the season, recording the final three outs of the seventh inning. 


The Huskies’ next game will be against Northwestern University at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in Evanston. Live stats will be available via SideArm Stats.