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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Baseball bags ‘Boneyard Win’, drops 2 to Bearcats

Huskies defeat Cincinnati in Game 2 for first Power 5 victory of 2024
Jonathan Mailhes
Senior infielder Andre Demetral focuses on a throw during an NIU baseball game against Louisiana State University. Demetral recorded one hit in the Huskies’ 14-1 loss to the University of Cincinnati on Sunday. (Courtesy of Jonathan Mailhes)

After falling to the University of Cincinnati Bearcats (6-5) 6-5 on a walk-off hit by pitch in Game 1, NIU baseball (3-9) bounced back for a 6-4 win behind the best performance of freshman catcher Cooper Cohn’s young career in Game 2. 

Despite allowing just two hits in Game 1, the Huskies pitching made it easy on the Bearcat offense. NIU issued 12 walks to Cincinnati batters and hit four Bearcat batters.

NIU’s offense had five more hits than Cincinnati, but drew just one walk. Senior catcher/outfielder Colin Summerhill launched his 7th home run of the season in the losing effort.

The Huskies offense jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Game 2, leading wire-to-wire. NIU’s pitching staff improved immensely in Game 2, walking just five batters and stranding a staggering 17 Bearcats on base. 

Backed by a strong performance from freshman pitcher Ty Brachbill, Cohn finished Game 2 with three hits, including his first career home run. Brachbill earned the win, giving up 0 earned runs on 5 hits in 5 innings pitched. 


Summerhill continued his reign of terror over Cincinnati’s pitching staff, hitting his third home run of the series in the first inning to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead. Summerhill finished Game 1 1-for-4 with 2 RBIs, driving in his sixth and seventh runs of the series.

The Bearcats put up the next 5 runs, holding a 5-1 lead heading into the sixth inning. NIU junior pitcher Tommy Meyer and senior pitcher Jackson Stewart gave up just one hit apiece, but each allowed multiple earned runs. 

After a slow start, the Huskies offense heated up in the latter innings of a seven inning game. Summerhill and senior infielder Mason Kelley each drove in runs in the top of the sixth inning to cut the Bearcat lead in half at 5-3. 

Down to their final three outs in the top of the seventh inning, the bottom of the Huskies’ batting order ignited NIU’s offense.

Following singles from senior outfielder/infielder Parker Shupe and senior infielder Jake Nelson to start the inning, freshman outfielder Charlie Parcell reached on an error, allowing Shupe to score and cut the deficit to 5-4. Senior infielder Andre Demetral followed suit with a sacrifice fly, scoring Nelson and tying the game at 5-5. 

NIU redshirt junior pitcher Matt Salomonson pitched the bottom of the seventh for NIU but was unable to force the game to an eighth inning. After retiring Cincinnati junior infielder Lauden Brooks to leadoff the inning, Cincinnati alternated walks and hit by pitches to bring home the winning run and earn the 6-5 victory.


NIU once again took the early inning lead in Game 2. A throwing error from the Bearcats on a Summerhill fielder’s choice allowed Parcell to score and the Huskies to take a 1-0 first inning lead. 

The Huskies added onto their lead thanks to RBI singles from Demetral and Parcell to take a 3-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning. Brachbill aided the offense, blanking the Bearcats through the first four innings for his second consecutive win. 

Cincinnati’s offense found life in the fifth inning, scoring two unearned runs in the frame and cutting the NIU lead to 3-2. Cohn immediately answered in the top of the sixth inning, blasting a two-out three-run homer to extend the Huskies’ lead to 6-2. 

Cohn preceded his home run with a double in the fifth inning and followed his home run with a single in the ninth inning. Cohn finished game two 3-for-4 and was a triple shy of the cycle. The Huskies’ offense went quiet after Cohn’s long ball, recording just one hit the rest of the game.

Junior pitcher Mason Ruh relieved Brachbill, tossing two shutout innings. Redshirt senior pitcher Reagan Klawiter was given the ball for the eighth inning and escaped with minimal damage. 

After allowing a two-run home run to junior first baseman/pitcher Tommy O’Connor, Klawiter left the bases loaded with the Huskies clinging to a 6-4 lead to end the eighth inning.  

Senior pitcher D.J. Hess earned his first save of the season, striking out redshirt junior utility player Kerrington Cross looking and leaving two Bearcats on base to seal the 6-4 Huskies win.


NIU baseball’s (3-10) offense was shut down in the series finale against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats (7-5) as the Huskies’ pitching staff got tagged for 14 runs. NIU was blown out 14-1.  

The Huskies’ offense was lackluster in its matinee series finale in Cincinnati, as they could only muster one run on four hits in seven innings. NIU also did not have a single extra base hit for the entirety of the ballgame. 

NIU’s only run of the game came on a walk by freshman outfielder Charlie Parcell in the second inning. 

Back-to-back five spots in the second and third inning for the Bearcats just about sealed the game right after it started. The third inning was capped off by a two-run shot by junior first baseman/catcher Josh Kross. 

Kross shouldered the offensive load for the Bearcats, going 3-for-4 with a home run and six runs batted in. 

The Huskies continue to struggle with clutch hitting, leaving  nine runners on base in the game. Throughout the weekend, the Huskies left a total of 29 runners stranded on the base path. 

Senior catcher/outfielder Colin Summerhill had a quiet day at the plate, going 1-for-2 with a single and a walk before being taken out of the game in the sixth inning.

Senior infielder Andre Demetral also picked up one of the Huskies four hits, on a line drive single in the seventh inning. Demetral also reached base on a hit by pitch, raising his season on base percentage to .460.

Junior outfielder C.J. Cepicky and senior infielder Aaron Harper had the other two hits in the ballgame for NIU, as both batters finished their days 1-for-2.

Junior pitcher Tucker Christensen got the start for the Huskies in the series finale, only lasting two innings. Christensen surrendered six earned runs on six hits while walking three and was credited with the loss. 

Senior pitcher Ryan Linkletter was the first pitcher out of the bullpen for the Huskies, and he saw the same results as Christensen. Linkletter surrendered five runs on four hits in just one inning of work. 

“We just have to keep trying to find ways to put our players in positions to be successful,” said NIU baseball head coach Ryan Copeland via NIU Athletics. “I like where we’re at offensively. If you look at some of the numbers, they’re trending upwards compared to last year. We wanted to be able to be more dangerous, hit more doubles and home runs, and we’ve done that. We still have to make sure we’re finding a way to compete with two strikes and put the ball in play.”

The Huskies will be back in action at 2 p.m. CT  Friday for their first MAC game of the season against the Ohio University Bobcats. The game will be available to watch on ESPN+.

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