Huskies swept by Central Michigan to fall to 3-3 in MAC play

James Krause

DeKALB — After opening its Mid-American Conference schedule with three straight wins, the baseball team was swept this weekend in a three-game series against the Central Michigan Chippewas.

The Huskies lost both games in a doubleheader Friday in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. NIU would also lose a barn burner 14-10 hitting duel Saturday.

Head Coach Mike Kunigonis said the team had its chances to grab a win but failed to capitalize.

“It was a disappointing weekend for us,” Kunigonis said. “We had more than our fair share of opportunities but couldn’t get it done. We’ll regroup and prepare for our upcoming homestand.”

Related: Huskies end win streak with loss to UIC

Friday Afternoon – Chippewas 6, Huskies 4

NIU scored its first run in the top of the fourth following an RBI double by junior outfielder Dylan Lonteen, but the Huskies trailed 4-1 by the end of the inning.

After scoring an unearned run in the sixth, NIU came back to tie the game 4-4 in the seventh.

Junior outfielder Brendan Joyce brought in the first run with an RBI double, while junior catcher Jake Dunham scored the tying run off a fielder’s choice.

CMU responded in the bottom half of the inning, taking back the 5-4 lead with a sacrifice bunt by junior outfielder Zach Gilles.

A wild pitch in the eighth inning by junior pitcher Tristan Michaels led to the eventual final score of 6-4.

Sophomore Michael Lasiewicz was the Huskie pitcher credited with the loss, throwing six innings and giving up 11 hits and four runs.

Friday Evening – Chippewas 5, Huskies 2

NIU struggled to generate scoring opportunities in the second game of its double header, only putting eight men on base.

The Chippewas took advantage early, taking the lead off a 2-RBI single by sophomore infielder Griffin Lockwood-Powell.

Redshirt-sophomore outfielder Kam Smith cut the lead in half with an RBI single in the fourth with an error by the Chippewas, allowing the tying run to score.

CMU took the lead back in the bottom of the fourth with senior outfielder David Cole bunting to bring in the go-ahead run. CMU would add a run off a fielding error by Dunham.

Lockwood-Powell added his third RBI of the game to make the game the 5-2 final. Lockwood-Powell would end the weekend with five RBIs on 6-for-13 hitting against NIU.

Saturday – Chippewas 14, Huskies 10

The game was tied at 1 entering the fifth inning before CMU senior catcher Evan Kratt scored two RBIs on a double to left field to take the lead.

NIU jumped out to the lead in the sixth with Smith hitting an RBI single and Lonteen hitting a three-run homer to take a 5-3 lead.

The Chippewas responded in the bottom of the inning, scoring 10 runs to take a 13-5 lead. Lockwood-Powell had two RBIs in the inning, while two runs were scored on walks by junior pitcher Nate Thomas.

Thomas, who had previously given up one run all season, was given the loss after allowing seven runs without recording an out.

Despite being down by nine runs in the ninth, the Huskies continued to battle. Smith and Lonteen both registered their second RBIs of the game, while redshirt-junior outfielder Josh Mutter cleared the bases with a 3-RBI double before being called out at third to make it 14-10.

NIU’s record now stands at 7-20 with a four-game losing streak entering a six-game homestand. The Huskies start their homestand 3 p.m. Wednesday against the University of Milwaukee Panthers.

NIU also hosts a home MAC series this weekend, playing a three-game series against the Ohio Bobcats. The opening contest of that series is scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday.