Baseball’s high-scoring comeback attempt falls short


Mingda Wu

NIU junior shortstop Andre Demetral (1) rounds to third base after stealing second base in the bottom of the first inning. Demetral scored off of a hit by junior first baseman Colin Summerhill, earning the Huskies their first run of the game and setting the score 3-1. (Mingda Wu | Northern Star)

DeKALB – Poor pitching caused NIU baseball’s (7-27, 4-10 MAC) comeback bid to fall short in a rainy, seven-inning weekday game at Ralph McKinzie Field against the Illinois State University Redbirds (11-21, 2-10 MVC) by a final score of 18-11 Wednesday. 

After surrendering 16 runs in Tuesday’s 16-5 loss to Northwestern University, NIU pitching has now allowed 34 runs over the last two games.

Huskie sophomore pitcher Tommy Meyer got shelled early, allowing eight total runs – five earned – on three hits and five walks. 

Junior pitcher Jacob Draeger worked the most innings for NIU at 3.1 innings pitched. He allowed three runs on five hits and three walks. The Huskies trailed 11-0 after just three innings.

Junior pitchers Sam Pederson and DJ Hess and redshirt junior pitcher Reagan Klawiter rounded out the pitching for NIU. Klawiter pitched just 0.1 innings giving up no runs, but Pederson and Hess allowed a combined six runs on six hits in 2.2 innings of work.

The Huskie offense attempted to make a massive comeback after a lightning delay halted the game for one hour. Junior catcher Colin Summerhill smacked a two-RBI double in the fourth inning to contribute to a three-run inning for NIU, which got the score back to 11-3. 

Senior outfielder Malik Peters also contributed at the plate, hitting 3-for-4 with three RBIs including his second home run in as many days. 

After NIU added another run in the fifth inning and ISU got to 16 runs after the top of the sixth inning, the Huskies closed the gap even further with a seven-run sixth inning. RBIs from Peters, senior outfielder Tyler Thierry, junior infielder Andre Demetral, junior infielder and outfielder Andrew Smart and junior infielder Jake Nelson contributed to close the gap to 16-11. 

The Redbirds responded with a three-run top of the seventh inning, highlighted by redshirt freshman catcher Luke Lawrence. 

After a leadoff single by Peters in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Huskies went down 1-2-3 to seal the 18-11 win for the Redbirds. 

Despite the failed comeback attempt, NIU head coach Mike Kunigonis was happy his team kept battling through the bad weather and lopsided score. 

Our guys don’t give up,” Kunigonis said via NIU Athletics. “They kept battling after the lightning delay. They want to play baseball and play hard and do it the right way. If they continue to do this, regardless of outcomes, they’re going to do great things in life.”


The Huskies travel this weekend to Muncie, Indiana to take on the Ball State University Cardinals in a three-game MAC series. Game one will be at 2 p.m. Friday. Live stats will be available on SideArm Stats.