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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Brouwer’s strong start powers NIU baseball to first home win

Redshirt sophomore Adam Brouwer delivers a pitch against Miami University at McKie Field at Hayden Park in Oxford, Ohio. Brouwer led the Huskies to a 7-3 win over Kent State University Saturday after giving up just one earned run over 7.2 innings pitched. (Ellison Neumann | Courtesy of Miami Athletics)

DeKALB – After dropping Game 1 of the three-game series 7-3 to the Kent State University Golden Flashes (18-18, 9-8 MAC) on Friday, NIU baseball (12-25, 7-10 MAC) flipped the script Saturday with a 7-3 victory to even the series.

A dominant start from redshirt sophomore pitcher Adam Brouwer combined with a five-run fourth inning from the Huskies’ offense was enough for NIU to snap its four-game MAC losing streak.

Brouwer allowed just one earned run in 7.2 innings, striking out five Kent State batters in the process. Senior infielder Eric Erato reached base safely four times and freshman outfielder Charlie Parcell went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to lead the way offensively.

“We did a good job of taking what Kent State gave us, especially when it mattered most,” said NIU baseball head coach Ryan Copeland via NIU Athletics. “That was really good to see. We left quite a few runners on the base that could have broken the game open, but we found a way to win.”


Led by Brouwer, the NIU pitching staff combined to allow just one earned run on seven hits. Huskie pitchers allowed just one extra base hit and struck out seven Golden Flashes.

“He (Brouwer) was outstanding today after struggling in his last two outings,” Copeland said via NIU Athletics. “If there was a guy that was going to bounce back and help us get a win it was Adam. He’s done that for us all year. He just pitched and found a way to compete and gave us 7.2 innings when we really needed it.”

After Brouwer departed with two outs in the top of the eighth inning, NIU used just two more pitchers the rest of the way. Senior pitchers DJ Hess and Sam Pederson combined to record the final four outs, sealing the victory for the Huskies.


Despite senior catcher/outfielder Colin Summerhill’s five-game home run streak coming to an end Saturday, the Huskies’ offense picked up the slack without the longball. 

After a two-RBI single from Kent State redshirt senior outfielder Josh Johnson put the Golden Flashes up 2-0 in the top of the second inning, the Huskies’ offense jumped on Kent State graduate pitcher Joe Miceli in the bottom of the fourth inning. NIU scored five runs in the frame, all coming after two outs.

Parcell got the Huskies on the scoreboard with a bases loaded walk before a wild pitch from Miceli and a throwing error from Kent State allowed Summerhill and junior outfielder CJ Cepicky to score and give the Huskies a 3-2 lead. 

After the wild pitch, senior outfielder Spencer Bartel finished his at bat with an RBI single to drive in Parcell and put the Huskies up 4-2. Erato capped off the five-run frame with an RBI single, putting the Huskies up 5-2.

A Parcell RBI-triple in the sixth inning and an RBI-walk from freshman catcher Cooper Cohn in the seventh inning ballooned the Huskies lead to 7-2. 


The Huskies corner outfield duo of Bartel and Cepicky each made spectacular run-saving plays early in the game to keep the Huskies in control.

With one out and a runner on second base in the top of the third inning, Bartel made a diving catch at the warning track down the right field line, preventing an extra-base hit and the runner at second base from scoring. 

With the Huskies up 5-2 in the top of the fifth inning, Kent State redshirt freshman infielder Ripken Reese crushed a ball deep into the outfield before Cepicky scaled the left field wall, making the catch and robbing Reese of a home run. 

“Opportunities to make big plays are going to allow you to have a chance to win, especially with runners on base,” Copeland said via NIU Athletics. “Spencer’s play was unbelievable, especially battling the wind out there. CJ’s play was a game changer. If they get that home run, they get a little momentum back.”


The Huskies’ rubber match with Kent State will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at Ralph McKinzie Field at Walt and Janice Owens Park in DeKalb. The game will be live streamed on NIU All-Access and live stats will be available via SIDEARM Stats.

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