Baseball falls to Northwestern in high-scoring contest


Tim Dodge

Junior outfielder and catcher Colin Summerhill (8) walks out of the on-deck circle during opening day Friday as junior infielder Eric Erato (5) runs to the dugout. The Huskies lost the game 11-2. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

By Joseph Segreti, Senior Sports Reporter

DeKALB – NIU baseball lost a high-scoring contest against Northwestern University by a score of 15-11, giving Northwestern its second win of the season. 

Northwestern came into the matchup against the Huskies with a record of 1-17. 

NIU’s pitching struggled to begin the game, as sophomore pitcher Conner Lutes and redshirt sophomore pitcher Matt Salomonson gave up eight runs in the first two innings. 

Junior designated hitter Colin Summerhill led the Huskies with four RBIs (runs batted in) while going 1-for-3 at the plate. Junior third baseman Aaron Harper went 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBI’s. 

Lutes started the game and only lasted one inning, surrendering four runs on four hits while also walking three batters. Salomonson also lasted one inning while also giving up four runs on four hits. 

The Huskies faced an eight-run deficit after two innings. NIU recorded a six-run third inning rally that started with a run that was scored off a throwing error. The long rally was capped off by a grand slam from Summerhill which made the score 8-6. 

NIU tacked on another run in the fourth to close the gap to one run on an RBI single by junior right fielder Eric Erato that scored senior center fielder Malik Peters. 

After giving up two runs in the fourth inning, the Huskies scored one run in each of the next four innings to take an 11-10 lead. 

Senior pitcher Nick Bonk registered the loss in the contest, as he came into the game in relief of junior pitcher Jacob Draeger in the eighth inning. Bonk did not record an out in his appearance, giving up one run and one walk and only facing two batters. 

“Offensively, we’ve been doing a good job battling and scoring runs,” head coach Mike Kunigonis said via NIU Athletics. “We need to be better on the mound and find ways to limit the big innings and eliminate the self-inflicted mistakes.” 

The Huskies will start their next series at 4 p.m. Friday against Xavier University in Mason, Ohio at Prasco Park. Live stats will be available via SIDEARM sports.