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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Timely hitting evades NIU baseball in loss to Milwaukee

Tim Dodge
NIU senior infielder Andre Demetral gets set to throw the ball to first base on April 24 at Curtis Granderson Stadium. Demetral scored two runs as NIU baseball fell 6-5 to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers on Wednesday. (Northern Star File Photo)

NIU baseball (15-29, 9-12 MAC) was unable to come up with the clutch hit needed Wednesday, falling to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers (14-28, 9-12 Horizon League) 6-5.

The Huskies scored just one run after the second inning, leaving 11 runners on base. Milwaukee sophomore pitcher Tyler Deleskiewicz fanned six batters in five innings of work as four Panther pitchers combined to strike out 12 Huskie batters.

“We did a good job early of taking what they gave us early on, but we were not able to capitalize on them,” said NIU baseball head coach Ryan Copeland via NIU Athletics. “We took our share of walks and hit by pitches but just didn’t get the big hit. We’ve had opportunities this year to go take games away from other teams and it seems like we’re not doing that enough.”

Milwaukee sophomore outfielder Carson Hansen led the way offensively, going 1-for-3 with a three-run home run and two runs scored. NIU senior catcher/outfielder Colin Summerhill was the only Huskie to record multiple hits and NIU senior infielder Jake Nelson led the Huskies with two RBIs.


The Huskies offense came out firing, scoring four runs in the first two innings. Senior infielder Eric Erato brought home the first run of the game, scoring on a wild pitch in the top of the first inning to give NIU a 1-0 lead. 

Hansen immediately answered in the bottom of the first inning with a three-run homer off NIU senior pitcher Ryan Linkletter to put the Panthers up 3-1.

RBI singles from Nelson and Summerhill highlighted a three-run top of the second inning, helping NIU retake the lead at 4-3. Milwaukee once again had a quick answer as junior outfielder Q Phillips ripped an RBI triple to even the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the third inning.

Linkletter allowed three earned runs on four hits while pitching the first two innings. Linkletter struck out two batters and issued two walks in his second start of the season.

Despite NIU’s early offense, they left four runners on base over the first two innings. The Huskies had four innings in which they left multiple runners on base.


Three Panther relievers allowed just one earned run on three hits across the final four innings. Junior pitcher Keagon Kaufmann earned the win and redshirt junior pitcher Johnny Kelliher notched the save.

Despite junior pitcher Conner Lutes allowing no earned runs on two hits over four innings out of the bullpen, the Huskies were unable to secure the win. 

NIU senior pitcher DJ Hess relieved Linkletter, allowing one run on two hits in his lone inning pitched. Redshirt senior pitcher Reagan Klawiter suffered the loss for the Huskies, allowing one earned run on one hit and failing to record an out. 

Nelson provided the Huskies only run against the Milwaukee bullpen via a sacrifice fly. Nelson’s sac fly allowed the Huskies to regain the lead at 5-4 in the top of the sixth inning.

Once again NIU’s lead was short lived, as senior third baseman Zach Lane’s seventh-inning sacrifice fly knotted up the score at 5-5. The wheels came off for the Huskies in the bottom of the eighth inning, leading to their demise. 

Phillips led off the inning by reaching on a drop-third strike, coming around to score on junior shortstop Gabe Roessler’s game-winning sacrifice fly. 

After a one-out walk from NIU junior outfielder CJ Cepicky, Kelliher struck out the next two Huskie batters, nailing down the save and the 6-5 Milwaukee win.


The Huskies’ next game will be against the Ball State University Cardinals at 3 p.m. Friday 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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