Huskies stun Broncos with comeback walk-off victory


Mingda Wu

NIU junior right fielder Eric Erato (5) watches the ball fly up, singling to shortstop after hitting it in the bottom of the sixth inning on April 8. The Huskies lost to CMU for the second of their three game series Saturday 17-7. (Mingda Wu | Northern Star)

By Joseph Segreti, Sports Reporter

DeKALB – NIU baseball (7-24, 4-9 MAC) walked off for the second straight game in a thrilling 6-5, 11-inning victory over the Western Michigan University Broncos (9-23 6-7 MAC). 

The Huskies came back multiple times in the game, scoring one run in the ninth when they were down to their last strike, and scoring again in the 11th. 

NIU walked it off after an intentional walk to junior infielder Andre Demetral and a hit by pitch by junior infielder Aaron Harper to load the bases. Junior catcher Colin Summerhill stepped into the box and was hit by the second pitch to win the game.  

Junior right fielder Eric Erato came up with two clutch hits in this game, the first being a two-out, two-strike single in the ninth inning to keep the game alive. Erato eventually scored the game-tying run. 

Erato also scored sophomore infielder Christian Seegers and senior outfielder Tyler Thierry to tie the game in the bottom of the eleventh inning on a double down the third base line. Erato went on to score the game winning run. 

“I was really just trying to stick to my approach,” Erato said. “Let the ball get deep. It’s something we work on every day, and I’m just trying to get on base to get my team the best chance to come back and get this win.”

Junior pitcher Dominic Hann got the start for NIU and tossed six scoreless innings before giving up three runs in the seventh inning. Hann totaled four strikeouts while giving up three earned runs on five hits in 6.1 innings. 

“Dom was great, it’s the best outing of the year for him,” head baseball coach Mike Kunigonis said. “He gave us more than a chance to win and he executed pitches when we needed to.” 

Sophomore pitcher Mason Ruh came into the game in relief of Hann. Ruh worked out of the seventh inning jam, only allowing one runner to score, registered to Hann.  

Ruh finished the game, which earned him the win. His final statline included 4.2 innings pitched, one strikeout and two earned runs on three hits. 

The Huskies got on the board first in the fifth inning on a bunt single by Demetral and a throwing error, scoring senior outfielder Malik Peters. NIU tacked on a second run on an RBI single by Thierry, scoring junior infielder Andrew Smart. 


The Huskies will continue their series against Western Michigan, with their game starting at 1 p.m. Saturday at Ralph McKinzie Field. Live stats will be available via SIDEARM Sports.