Baseball drops two in Ball State series

James Krause

DeKALB — The baseball team was held in check in the first two of three games against the Ball State Cardinals this weekend but saved itself from being swept with a win Sunday.
The Huskies were held to just three runs over their their losses, striking out 16 times to one pitcher Friday and not registering a hit after six innings Saturday.
NIU pulled together Sunday to pick up a 7-4 win, putting the Huskies at 10-10 in Mid-American Conference games.

Friday – Cardinals 6, Huskies 2

Junior infielder Tommy Szczasny got the Huskies on the board from theNIU’s first at-bat of the game, homering to right field for a 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals took a 2-1 lead in the second with an RBI double by senior first baseman John Ricotta and another RBI on a single by senior catcher Chase Sebby.  
First-year outfielder Nick Drobushevich singled for a tying RBI in the third but was out at second in an effort for a double. 
Drobushevich’s RBI gave him 34 on the season.
After a leadoff single by first-year designated hitter Andre Orselli in the fourth, Ricotta hit a two-run blast to give Ball State the lead. 
An RBI triple by first-year infielder Justin Conant put Ball State ahead 5-2 after four innings of play.
Cardinals sophomore pitcher Drey Jameson took command from there, not allowing a hit from the fourth inning until his exit in the eighth. 
Jameson ended the day with 16 strikeouts over eight innings, allowing only six hits and two runs in the win. 
The 16 strikeouts were a season-high for the conference leader in strikeouts.
One run from the Cardinals in the eighth led to the eventual final of 6-2. 
Senior pitcher William Anderson was given the loss after allowing four earned runs in five innings.

Saturday – Cardinals 4, Huskies 1

The Cardinals’ dominance from the mound continued with junior pitcher John Baker pitching six hitless innings to start the game.
Ball State put itself ahead 1-0 in the opening inning with a home run from junior outfielder Ross Messina.
Orselli gave the Cardinals another run in the fourth with a homer, while Sebby scored on a flyout to left to make it 3-0 entering the bottom of the seventh.
Drobushevich’s single to right broke up Baker’s no-hitter with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Junior outfielder Kam Smith followed with a single of his own.
Junior Jordan Larson scored the only run of the day for the Huskies with a sacrifice fly to center, making it 3-1.

The Cardinals added an insurance run from senior infielder William Baker with an RBI single for the 4-1 final.


Sunday – Huskies 7, Cardinals 4

It looked early on that the Cardinals would be on route for the sweep, entering the bottom of the fifth with a 3-0 lead.

NIU junior catcher Jake Dunham cut the lead down to just one with a two-RBI double.

The Cardinals put themselves up two in the seventh with a sacrifice fly from William Baker to make it 4-2 entering the bottom of the seventh.

Junior outfielder Brendan Joyce made it a one score game again with a groundout to score first-year infielder Paddy McKermitt.

With the bases loaded and one out, Drobushevich singled to right field to score two RBIs. Dunham scored from third on the same play following a fielding error and thus NIU took the 6-3 lead.

Larson added another run on a sacrifice fly, giving NIU a 7-3 lead. The Cardinals were only able to manage one more run on a bases loaded hit by pitch for the final of 7-4.

Sophomore Kyle Seebach was credited with the win, pitching two and a third innings of relief. Senior Ty Jandrowski picked up the save with two strikeouts in his one and a third innings closing effort.

The Huskies record moves to 15-31 overall and their 11-10 conference record puts them fifth in MAC standings after Sunday.

NIU will head out on their last road series of the season Friday when they play a three-game set against the Toledo Rockets. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN+.