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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Huskies take down Miami in pitchers duel

NIU posts first nine-inning shutout since 2019
Redshirt sophomore Adam Brouwer delivers a pitch against Miami University at McKie Field at Hayden Park in Oxford, Ohio. Brouwer’s seven-inning shutout performance boosted the Huskies to a 1-0 win over the RedHawks on Sunday. (Ellison Neumann | Courtesy of Miami Athletics)

Behind the best performance of redshirt sophomore pitcher Adam Brouwer’s career, NIU baseball (8-16, 5-4 MAC) snuck past the Miami University RedHawks (9-13, 4-5 MAC) 1-0 Sunday. 

Brouwer pitched seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and walking just two batters to earn his second win of the season. Brouwer struck out five Miami batters and retired the last six hitters he faced, helping NIU snap its four-game losing streak. 

“I just needed to take it one inning at a time,” Brouwer said in a press release via NIU Athletics. “If you’re in the dugout between innings thinking about going seven, it usually doesn’t go well. Today was huge. We actually talked before the game that a shutout would be awesome. It’s a real tall task but it would be cool to accomplish and to get it today was really awesome.”

After a dominant performance by the RedHawks pitching staff in Game 2 of the series, the Huskies returned the favor to avoid the three-game sweep. NIU allowed just five hits in Sunday’s win.

In a game that saw NIU record just six singles and no extra base hits, Brouwer and senior pitcher Dominic Hann made up for the offensive slack, knifing through the RedHawks batting order. Hann allowed no earned runs on just one hit through the final two innings, earning his first save of the season. 

“We pitched extremely well today,” said NIU baseball head coach Ryan Copeland via NIU Athletics. “Adam had command of three pitches and had his best start of the year. After a tough start to the game yesterday, we needed someone to step up and not only was Brouwer outstanding, Hann was lights out to close the game as well.”

Miami sophomore pitcher Nick Varvadas suffered the loss despite allowing no earned runs over 6.2 innings pitched. Varvadas struck out seven Huskie batters and issued just one walk.

Senior infielder Mason Kelley and senior outfielder Spencer Bartel were the only Huskies to reach base more than once, each going 2-for-3. Bartel provided the game-winning knock in the bottom of the seventh inning with a two-out RBI single to score Kelley and put the Huskies ahead 1-0. 

“We competed extremely well today,” Copeland said via NIU Athletics. “We had some opportunities to score early but didn’t capitalize. When we needed a big hit, we got it from Spencer. He deserves a lot of credit. His role has changed from the beginning of the season to now, and we decided he deserved a start today and he got two big hits.”

Miami’s biggest threat came in the top of the fifth inning when they had runners on second and third base with two outs. Brouwer quickly diffused the threat, striking out Miami junior outfielder Zach MacDonald to end the inning. Brouwer also worked around a lead-off double in the top of the sixth inning to keep the game scoreless.

After Bartel’s go-ahead single, Hann picked off Miami junior outfielder Dom Magliocca to end the top of the eighth inning. Hann proceeded to slam the door on the RedHawks in the ninth inning with a three up, three down frame to seal the win.


The Huskies next game will be against the Northwestern University Wildcats at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at Rocky and Berenice Miller Park in Evanston, Ill. 

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