Rockets rout Huskies on senior day


Huskie junior catcher and outfielder Colin Summerhill dives to third base as Rockets’s sophomore catcher Brayden White (18) catches the ball thrown to him by freshman third baseman Troy Sudbrook (10), completing a double play to get both Summerhill and Demetral. (Sean Reed | Northern Star)

By Joseph Segreti, Sports Reporter

DeKALB – NIU baseball (8-38, 4-19 MAC) dropped a senior day slugfest as it closed out its final home series against the University of Toledo (23-24, 11-13 MAC) by a final score of 18-12.

NIU honored seven seniors for the finale of baseball’s last home series of the season. Senior outfielder Malik Peters, junior outfielder Brandon Johnson, redshirt senior outfielder Jack Anderson and senior outfielder Tyler Thierry all appeared in the starting lineup in Sunday’s game.

“All seven of those guys meant a lot to us,” head baseball coach Mike Kunigonis said. “Malik Peters has been with us for a long time, Jack Anderson, Brandon Johnson … They’ve stuck it out through some tough times, but that’s a testament to them.”

The Huskies used seven different pitchers during Toledo’s 18-run out. Junior pitcher Jacob Draeger got the start, totaling three innings and allowing four runs on four hits. 

Redshirt sophomore pitcher Matt Salomonson received the loss for the Huskies in the game, as he totaled 1.1 innings pitched while giving up seven runs on five hits and walking four batters. 

Junior infielder Andre Demetral led the Huskies with four RBI’s in the game, picking up two hits. Both of Demetral’s hits were for extra bases – a first inning RBI double and a third inning three-RBI triple. 

Junior infielder Eric Erato also had a big game at the plate, picking up two hits and also walking three times. Erato came around to score three times in the game.  

After the Huskies went down 1-0 in the first inning, NIU’s bats started off hot. They put up four runs in the bottom half of the inning, emphasized by a two-run home run by junior catcher Colin Summerhill. 

Toledo tied the game again in the top of the second inning, but the Huskies rallied in the bottom half for one run on an RBI single by junior third baseman Aaron Harper, which made the score 5-4. 

NIU tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the third inning and scored two more in the bottom of the fourth, which extended their lead to 10-4. This was the Huskies largest lead of the day. 

In the top half of the fifth inning, the Huskies gave up seven earned runs, blowing their six-run lead and giving Toledo an 11-10 advantage. Including this inning, Toledo went on to score 14 unanswered runs from the top of the fifth inning to the top of the seventh. 

NIU tried to spark a rally in the eighth inning, scoring two runs while having the bases loaded but could not muster any more runs. 

“The one thing you can say about us is we don’t give up and we keep fighting,” Kunigonis said. “We’ve had some tough ones, but our guys never give up.”


The Huskies next series will begin at 2 p.m. Friday in Bowling Green, Ohio against Bowling Green State University. Live Stats will be available via SIDEARM Sports.