Northern Star




Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student news organization since 1899


Ensure student journalism survives. Donate today.

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Explosive second inning lifts Huskies over Eastern Illinois

Tim Dodge
Junior left fielder CJ Cepicky (39) flips his bat after hitting a two-run home run to left field during the fourth inning against Bowling Green. Cepicky’s home run cut the Falcon’s lead to 4-3. (Tim Dodge | Northern Star)

NIU baseball outlasted Eastern Illinois University’s late- inning surge to secure a midweek 14-12 victory. 


The Huskies’ offense exploded early in its matinee matchup against the Panthers, scoring eight of the teams’ 14 runs in the first two innings. 

NIU got on the board in the first inning, scoring two runs on a two-run home run by junior outfielder CJ Cepicky, scoring senior infielder Jake Nelson. 

Senior outfielder/catcher Colin Summerhill added four runs in the second inning on a grand slam. Senior infielder Andre Demetral also tallied two RBI’s in the inning on a single. 

The Huskies chased Eastern Illinois’ starting pitcher freshman Anthony Solis after just 1.1 innings. 


Senior pitcher Jacob Draeger started the game for the Huskies, as NIU opted to use its bullpen today rather than using a starting pitcher. Draeger gave up just one run in two innings of work, striking out two Panther batters. 

Senior pitcher DJ Hess relieved Draeger going into the third inning and notched three innings of work. Hess did not allow a run to score in his outing and struck out threewo batters. 

“Jacob and DJ pounded the zone and used the breaking ball for strikes to keep those guys off balance,” said NIU head baseball coach Ryan Copeland via NIU Athletics. “Eastern Illinois can swing it a little bit, and those two allowed us to settle into the game. For those guys to come out and protect the big lead early was huge for us.”

The Huskies bullpen allowed 11 of Eastern’s 12 runs to score in the last four innings of the game after only allowing one run through five innings. 

Redshirt junior pitcher Matt Salomonson started the ninth inning and only recorded one inning of work and surrendered five runs on two hits and four walks. Sophomore outfielder/pitcher Jake Kohanzo recorded the final out but surrendered a three-run home run to Panther senior infielder Lucas Loos. 


Every offensive starter for the Huskies reached base in Tuesday’s matchup. Senior infielder Mason Kelley was the only NIU player in the starting lineup to not record a hit. 

The Huskies also had six players record at least one RBI in the game, with Summerhill leading the pack with six. 

Summerhill followed up his grand slam in the second inning by blasting his 11th home run of the season in the eighth inning. Summerhill has now tied his home run total from last season. 

“Our offense was outstanding today and gave us a big lead and some room to work with,” Copeland said. “Colin was a huge part of that. As he goes, so does our offense and today was a great sign moving forward. He was on the barrel much more in the Bowling Green series, and today he had something to show for that as well.”

Nelson and senior infielder Eric Erato both recorded two-hit games in the contest. Nelson scored three runs in the ballgame and recorded two walks. 


The Huskies will be back in action at 6 p.m. Friday against the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign at Illinois Field. Live stats will be available via SIDEARM Stats.

More to Discover