Flames singe Huskies in weekday matchup


Tim Dodge

Senior outfielder Malik Peters jogs to the dugout during NIU baseball’s home opener against Ohio on March 24. The Huskies lost the game 11-2. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

By Ethan Gonzales, Sports Editor

DeKALB – Two home runs from the University of Illinois Chicago (17-19, 4-11 MVC) proved to be too much for the Huskies to handle as UIC defeated NIU 8-1 in a Tuesday matchup.

The Huskies’ loss to the Flames extended their losing streak to seven.

The Flames were led by graduate student infielder Charlie Szykowny at the plate. Szykowny recorded three RBIs on five hits, finishing with a 5-for-5 performance. Szykowny hit a home run in the top of the eighth inning.

UIC junior outfielder Carson Roberts and junior infielder Ryan Nagelbach recorded two RBIs each in the victory. Nagelbach scored the Flames’ first runs of the game on a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning.

Huskie pitching started strong, but struggled as the game progressed. Sophomore pitcher Mason Ruh and junior pitcher Jackson Stewart pitched the first three innings and both combined to give up two hits. 

Junior pitcher DJ Hess relieved Stewart in the fourth inning and proceeded to give up one earned run on four hits. During his one inning of work, the Huskies gave up five unearned runs on two errors to give the Flames a 5-0 lead.

Hess was replaced by sophomore pitcher Conner Lutes in the fifth inning. Lutes gave up three more runs on five hits, ballooning UIC’s lead to 8-1.

The Huskies’ only run of the game was scored on a sacrifice fly from senior outfielder Malik Peters. Peters hit a fly ball into right field to score junior infielder Aaron Harper. NIU finished with four hits as a team Tuesday.

“UIC kept us off balance offensively,” NIU baseball head coach Mike Kunigonis said via an NIU Athletics press release. “By the time we started to get a little bit of offense going at the plate, it was the seventh, and we worked ourselves into a jam.”


NIU will face Illinois State University at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Normal, Illinois. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and live stats will be available on StatBroadcast.