Baseball shuts out Miami 4-0 in MAC opener

James Krause

DeKALB — A two-hit shutout by sophomore pitcher Michael Lasiewicz helped the NIU baseball team advance in the Mid-American Conference tournament with a 4-0 win over the Miami of Ohio RedHawks.

Lasiewicz gave up two hits and a walk while striking out eight batters on Wednesday night, including keeping the last 13 batters from reaching base.

The complete game shutout is the program’s first since 2014.

 Head Coach Mike Kunigonis said it was the performance the team has come to expect from the right-hander.

“Masterful performance is all I can say,” Kunigonis said of Lasiewicz. “We’ve been waiting for that out of him all year. He’s our number one and he pitched like it tonight.”

Lasiewicz said he found a rhythm as the game progressed, while also getting help from his defense.

“I don’t even know what to say right now, it just felt good,” Lasiewicz said. “I was hitting my spots and my defense was backing me up to help me out too.”

The RedHawks themselves kept NIU in check early, not allowing a hit until the fourth when junior outfielder Brendan Joyce singled to lead off the inning.

Miami of Ohio escapes a bases loaded jam the same inning to keep the scoreboard blank.

The Huskies got themselves on the board in the sixth inning when a wild pitch by Miami senior pitcher Shane Smith to junior catcher Jake Dunham allowed Joyce to score from third. 

First-year outfielder Nick Drobushevich drove in another run with a squeeze bunt to first and junior outfielder Kam Smith hit an RBI single to make it 3-0.

The Huskies added an insurance run in the eight with an RBI double by Dunham for the eventual final of 4-0. 

NIU will move on in the winner’s bracket to face second-seed Ball State Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. from Sprenger Stadium in Avon, Ohio.