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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Ball State outlasts Huskies, NIU drops series opener

Totus Tuus Keely
Freshman catcher Cooper Cohn (4) hits a home run during the second inning at Ralph McKinzie Field at Walt and Janice Park. NIU baseball dropped the series opener against Ball State University by a score of 4-3 on Friday. (Totus Tuus Keely | Northern Star)

DeKALB – NIU baseball (15-30, 9-13 MAC) dropped its third straight contest, losing to the Ball State University Cardinals (26-18-1, 13-9 MAC) by a score of 4-3.


Freshman pitcher Ty Brachbill started the series opener Friday, going six innings and allowing four earned runs on eight hits. 

Brachbill did not have his best command in the game, issuing four free passes to Ball State hitters. 

“Ty didn’t have very good stuff today,” said NIU baseball head coach Ryan Copeland. “He didn’t command his fastball; his breaking ball was pretty inconsistent. He started to find his change-up there later in the game. Unfortunately with a team like that you can’t command your breaking balls, and you can’t change speeds; when you do make a mistake, they’re gonna hit it pretty hard.”

The young right-hander was coming off his best start of the season, where he went nine innings and allowed one unearned run April 26 against Central Michigan University.

Ball State senior infielder Michael Hallquist had two home runs against Brachbill, the second of which being the game winner. 


Senior pitcher Sam Pederson and redshirt senior pitcher Reagan Klawiter were the only bullpen arms used by the Huskies on Friday. 

Pederson came into the game in the seventh inning following Hallquist’s home run off Brachbill. Pederson worked a scoreless seventh, striking out one batter. 

Klawiter worked the eighth and ninth innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. This was Klawiter’s third outing of at least two innings this season.


The Huskies faced Ball State junior pitcher Merritt Beeker in Friday’s matchup, who owns the 13th best ERA in the MAC at 5.22. 

NIU tagged Beeker for three runs through his first four innings of work, but the Huskies’ bats were shut down the rest of the way by Beeker and the Cardinal bullpen. 

Beeker and junior pitcher Nate Blain suppressed NIU’s offensive attack, striking out 14 Huskies in the game. 

The Huskies had five batters finish the game with multiple strikeouts and had two batters strike out three times. 

Senior infielder Eric Erato went 1-for-4 in the game, tripling in the first inning and coming around to score the game’s first run. Erato struck out three times in the game for just the second time this season. 

Freshman catcher Cooper Cohn and senior infielder Andre Demetral were the only Huskies to record multiple hits in the game. 

Cohn went 2-for-4 with a home run in the second inning. Demetral went 2-for-3 in the game with two singles. 

“Offensively, you have to find a way to take the game from them,” Copeland said. “We had opportunities, but we can’t seem to get the big time hit. So, we will come here tomorrow with great energy and great vibes, and we’ll play our tails off again.”

The Huskies will return at noon Saturday at Ralph McKinzie Field at Walt and Janice Owens Park. The game will be livestreamed via NIU All-Access and live stats will be available on SIDEARM Stats.

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