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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Cohn’s ninth-inning heroics push Huskies past Valparaiso

Totus Tuus Keely
The Huskies baseball team celebrate after freshman catcher Cooper Cohn (4) hit a home run to win the game against Valparaiso on Tuesday. NIU was tied 9-9 after the top of the ninth inning until Cooper hit the home run with only one out in the inning. (Totus Tuus Keely | Northern Star)

DeKALB – Freshman catcher Cooper Cohn walked off Valparaiso University with a towering solo home run in the ninth inning as the Huskies won 10-9. 


The freshman backstop had his fair share of struggles in this game, dropping two pop flies behind home plate, but he  still lifted NIU to a midweek victory with his ninth inning home run. 

“It felt good,” Cohn said. “I was just looking for a fastball that I could get a barrel on, and that’s what I got.” 

Cohn finished the day 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. 


Senior pitcher Ryan Linkletter started the Huskies’ matinee matchup against Valpo and delivered a quality start for NIU.

Linkletter tallied five innings pitched and only allowed one earned run and struck out five batters. 

“Ryan’s been a little down on himself lately,” said NIU baseball head coach Ryan Copeland. “He believes in himself as much as anyone and the numbers just don’t show it. He showed some flashes this year but it’s been tough to find consistency. For him to come out and go five innings and allow just one run, it was really, really good.” 

Following Linkletter’s departure from the ballgame, the Huskies’ bullpen allowed eight earned runs to score. 

Senior pitcher DJ Hess allowed four earned runs in one inning of work and freshman pitcher Alex Day surrendered four earned runs while recording just one out before his day was done. 


After just three total runs were scored through the first four innings, NIU and Valpo combined to score 16 runs in the final five innings. 

Going into the seventh inning, the Huskies held onto a 4-1 lead but a four-run inning by Valparaiso allowed them to take a 5-4 lead. 

In the bottom of the seventh, senior outfielder/catcher Colin Summerhill put the Huskies back on top with a three-run home run, his MAC-leading 18th of the year. 

Valpo answered again in the top of the eighth, putting up another four-spot, capped off by a two-run home run by graduate first baseman/outfielder Kyle Schmack. 

NIU tied the game again on a home run by senior infielder Mason Kelley and a bases-loaded walk by Summerhill. Cohn capped off the scoring with his ninth-inning home run. 


Senior infielder Eric Erato picked up his 200th career hit on a fourth-inning infield single. Erato is now tied for 10th all time on NIU’s career hit list with former Huskie Pat Minogue.  

Erato finished his day with three hits and now sits at 202 hits in his NIU career. 

Senior infielder Jake Nelson extended his hit streak 12 games after his 1-for-5 performance on Tuesday. Nelson’s batting average now sits at .324, the second-best clip for NIU this year. 

Summerhill also enjoyed an impressive day at the plate, as he plated four runs on two hits. The slugging senior now sits alone atop the MAC leaderboard for RBI’s with 49.

“It’s just a presence in the middle of our order,” Copeland said. “For him to come up with that big three-run home run after we gave up the lead, that’s kind of what we’ve been waiting for. I think that’s what this program has been waiting for, a guy that just refuses to let the team down.”


The Huskies will be back in action at 6 p.m. Wednesday against the University of Illinois Chicago at Les Miller Field at Curtis Granderson Stadium. Live stats will be available via Stat Broadcast.

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