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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Huskies toppled by Toledo in 23-4 rout

Mingda Wu
Then-junior outfielder Eric Erato (5) watches a pop-up on April 8, 2023. Erato collected a hit in his 12th game out of his last 13 as NIU baseball lost 23-4 to the University of Toledo Thursday. (Northern Star File Photo)

Following NIU baseball’s (9-17, 5-5 MAC) 17-8 victory over Northwestern University on Tuesday, the Huskies offense was held to only four runs to open its series against the University of Toledo (12-13, 7-3 MAC).


Freshman pitcher Ty Brachbill got the start for the Huskies to open the series and turned in one of his worst outings of the season. 

Brachbill totaled four innings of work, surrendering 10 earned runs on nine hits and four walks. 

Junior pitcher Conner Lutes relieved Brachbill in the fifth inning, and only totaled one inning of work. Lutes gave up five earned runs on two hits in his lone inning. 

Redshirt junior pitcher RJ Nowicki also totaled one inning of work, and was knocked around by the Rockets. Nowicki gave up seven earned runs in just one inning, which pushed Toledo’s lead to 20 runs. 


In eight innings, the Rockets totaled 23 runs on 19 hits while only leaving seven runners on base. Toledo also clubbed seven home runs in the contest. 

Toledo’s offensive explosion was led by redshirt freshman outfielder Luke Walton and junior infielder/outfielder Garret Pike. 

Pike finished the day going 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBIs before being pinch hit for in the eighth inning. Walton went 5-for-6 on the day with two home runs and six RBIs as he hit for the cycle. 

Toledo had seven players finish the game with at least two RBIs and had nine different players record at least one hit.


NIU came into this contest coming off a 17-8 victory over Northwestern just two days prior. In Thursday’s series opener against Toledo, the Huskies could only muster four runs on seven hits while leaving 13 runners stranded on the base paths. 

Junior outfielder CJ Cepicky was the only Huskie batter to record multiple hits in the game, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. 

Senior infielder Eric Erato went 1-for-3 at the plate with a single and a walk in Thursday’s ballgame. Erato now has at least one hit in 12 of his last 13 games and has raised his batting average from .320 to .360 over this stretch. 

Senior outfielder/catcher Colin Summerhill picked up his 25th RBI of the year on a third inning single that scored junior outfielder JP Gauthier. 

“I think the sign of a tough team is to wake up tomorrow and be able to go to the ballpark as if today didn’t happen,” said NIU baseball head coach Ryan Copeland via NIU Athletics. “I’m very anxious and curious to see how we’ll come out tomorrow. I’ve been on both sides of games like this in my career. Tomorrow is an opportunity to see our resolve and how tough we are.”

The Huskies will continue its series against Toledo at 2 p.m. CT Friday at Scott Park in Toledo, Ohio. Live stats will be available via SIDEARM Stats.

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