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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Baseball outhits No. 3 LSU in weekend finale

Summerhill, Kelley RBIs save Huskies from shutout
Jonathan Mailhes
NIU senior outfielder/catcher Colin Summerhill throws during Thursday’s 10-2 loss to then-second-ranked Louisiana State University at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Summerhill’s RBI double in the ninth inning of Saturday’s rematch helped the Huskies avoid a shutout in their 5-2 defeat to the third-ranked Tigers. (Courtesy of Jonathan Mailhes)

Despite playing under the sunny Saturday skies of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, NIU’s offense played eight innings of baseball as cold as the temperatures back home in DeKalb, Illinois.

Trailing 5-0 with two hits entering the ninth inning, NIU baseball used back-to-back RBI doubles by senior outfielder/catcher Colin Summerhill and senior infielder Mason Kelley to avoid its first shutout of the season. NIU (2-6) fell 5-2 by the hand of defending national champion and third-ranked Louisiana State University (6-1) at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge. The Huskies finished four hits to LSU’s three.

“It’s good to look up at the scoreboard and see that we outhit them (LSU),” Summerhill said. “But then, at the same time, it kind of flusters you because we feel like we should’ve won the baseball game.”

NIU baseball head coach Ryan Copeland echoed Summerhill’s sentiment.

“I think we actually outplayed them for most, if not all, of the game,” Copeland said. “I like the way we played, but we’ve got to find a way to be a little more dangerous offensively earlier in the game, and not let their starting pitcher settle into the game.”

Six different Huskie batters fell victim to the right arm of LSU junior pitcher Luke Holman in his second start as a Tiger. Holman surrendered two hits and recorded eight strikeouts before taking his leave after the seventh inning.

In NIU’s bullpen, senior pitcher Jackson Stewart made his first start of the season on the mound. The right-hander struck out three Tigers while giving up all five of LSU’s runs, two hits and six walks.

“There was a couple pitches that I wish I had back, and (I) can’t walk that many guys,” Stewart said. “But overall, it wasn’t about them (LSU’s hitters). It was just about lack of execution and needing to be better.”


Stewart walked two of LSU’s first three batters of the second inning and hit the fourth with a pitch to set up bases loaded for the Tigers with one out. LSU senior outfielder Mac Bingham then grounded out to second base, but not before sending his teammate, graduate student catcher/first baseman Hayden Travinski, home for the game’s first run. 

Stewart walked another two Tigers immediately after, the second allowing sophomore first baseman/catcher Jared Jones to double the LSU lead.

After a quiet third inning from both sides, Bingham launched a two-run dinger and junior infielder Josh Pearson used an RBI single to extend NIU to a 5-0 deficit.

Stewart exited the game after the fourth inning, with senior pitcher Jacob Draeger taking over at the mound in his place. Draeger, along with the other three pitchers who saw action in the contest, held LSU scoreless for the final four frames.

“Never once did I think that we didn’t belong today,” Stewart said. “We belong for sure, and there’s no better team to feel like you belong in a baseball game against the defending national champions.”


With Saturday’s defeat, NIU leaves the Bayou State with a 1-3 record on the weekend – its lone victory coming in Friday’s 14-4 trouncing of Northwestern State University.

“Obviously, 1-3 was not the record that we wanted,” Summerhill said. “But I feel like we’re taking the right steps and taking positive steps so – when we get into conference play – that we’re going to be a dangerous team to play, and no one’s going to want to see the Huskies.”

The Huskies have a four-day turnaround ahead as they prepare to face a Big Ten Conference foe in No. 18 University of Iowa (3-2). First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. Tuesday at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City, Iowa.

A radio broadcast of the game will be aired on Hawkeye Radio Network. Live statistics will be presented by StatBroadcast.

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