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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Summerhill shines in baseball’s loss to Cincinnati

Mingda Wu
NIU then-junior first baseman Colin Summerhill (8) is declared safe after sliding into second base on a double in the bottom of the first inning on April 9, 2023. Summerhill blasted two home runs in a 13-5 loss against the University of Cincinnati on Friday. (Mingda Wu | Northern Star)

Senior outfielder and catcher Colin Summerhill drove in all five Huskies runs in NIU baseball’s (2-8) 13-5 loss to the University of Cincinnati Bearcats (5-4). 

Summerhill finished his day going 2-for-5 with a pair of home runs, including a two-run shot to tie the game in the fourth inning and a three-run home run in the following frame. 

“Colin has been not only our best hitter, but our most consistent and most dangerous,” said NIU head baseball coach Ryan Copeland via NIU Athletics. “He’s got a presence about him. He doesn’t chase out of the strike zone so he gets good pitches to hit, even while hitting in a spot in the lineup where you’re going to see a lot of off-speed stuff. We need some guys to start to feed off that a little bit and find a way to protect him in the middle of the order.”

NIU’s struggles with clutch hitting continued from its mid-week matchup with the University of Iowa, as they left 10 runners stranded throughout the contest. 


The first five batters of NIU’s lineup carried the load for the Huskies in this game, finishing with a combined line of 8-for-21 while reaching base a total of 11 times.  

The bottom of the Huskies’ lineup finished with a combined slashline of 2-for-16, with its only two hits coming in the eighth inning. 

Senior outfielder Spencer Bartel was the only Huskie batter to finish the game without a strikeout. Bartel went 1-for-4 on Friday.

Four Huskie batters finished the game with two hits. Senior infielder Andre Demetral recorded two hits, one walk and a hit by pitch. Demetral continued impressing on defense, keeping his fielding percentage for the season at 100. 

Senior infielder Eric Erato also had a two-hit day, going 2-for-5 with a single and a double, his first extra base hit of the season. 

NIU’s redshirt sophomore pitcher Adam Brouwer and Cincinnati’s freshman pitcher Nathan Taylor dueled early in the game, where Taylor was perfect through three innings. Brouwer only allowed two runs through the first three innings, keeping NIU in the game. 

Both pitchers began to unravel by the fourth inning and neither pitcher lasted more than five innings. Brouwer went on to earn the loss for the contest, totaling five innings of work, giving up seven earned runs and only striking out three. 

Senior pitcher Sam Pederson relieved Brouwer in the fifth inning. The side-arming right-hander only lasted 0.1 innings, striking out one and walking one. 

The Huskies and Bearcats played a close contest for the first six innings, with the Bearcats’ biggest lead being four runs in that frame. Back-to-back two-run innings in the seventh and eighth innings helped the Bearcats pull away and seal the win. 

“It was an intense game today,” Copeland said. “There was an opportunity in the middle of the game to throw a punch and go take the lead and go take a win, and we’re just not there right now. We keep hanging around and then eventually we get outlasted. It was a good atmosphere in the dugout, the guys played hard, but we’re just missing something right now that’s unfortunately caused us to lose games.”

NIU will continue its weekend series against Cincinnati at noon Saturday with a doubleheader at UC Baseball Stadium. Live stats will be available on Stat Broadcast and the game can be streamed on ESPN+.

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