MANHATTAN, KANSAS — The baseball team saw an offensive explosion in both games against the Kansas State Wildcats, but came out of the mid-week series without a win.
All Huskie runs came in the first four innings, with the team only getting three combined hits after the fifth inning of both games.
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The biggest loss of the weekend may have came from an injury to sophomore outfielder Kam Smith, forcing him to leave the game early Tuesday and sit-out Wednesday.
Tuesday-Wildcats 9, Huskies 6
The Huskies jumped out to a huge early lead with Smith giving NIU a 2-0 lead with an RBI single in the first.
NIU continued to pile on runs in the second inning with four RBIs. Freshman outfielder Nick Drobushevich brought in the first with a single, followed by junior outfielder Brendan Joyce scoring another with a flyout to centerfield.
Fellow juniors infielder Tommy Szczasny and catcher Jake Dunham each brought in runs to increase NIU’s lead to 6-0 in the middle of the second.
Momentum was on the Huskies side until Smith ran into the newly-padded outfield fence at Tointon Stadium toward the end of the second inning when fielding a fly ball.
Smith, who is among NIU batting leaders with a .310 batting average, injured his right knee on the play and was replaced with sophomore outfielder Connor Montgomery.
NIU’s offense struggled following the opening burst, only reaching base on a hit once for the remainder of the game.
The Wildcats came back to tie the game in the seventh before taking the lead with a 3-run eighth inning to reach the eventual 9-6 final. Junior catcher Chris Ceballos gave Kansas State the leading run with an RBI double.
Wednesday-Wildcats 8, Huskies 3
The Huskies, without Smith in the starting lineup, got off to another hot start with RBIs from sophomore infielder Alex Rodriguez and junior outfielder Josh Mutter in the second.
Junior first-baseman Jordan Larson added on another with a solo home run in the fourth inning. The blast was Larson’s first homer and third RBI of the season.
The Wildcats came back and tied the contest in the fifth thanks to a triple from sophomore designated hitter Jordan Maxson. A throwing error by junior infielder Dylan Lonteen brought in the go-ahead run.
Home runs from sophomore outfielder Zach Kokoska and junior infielder Caleb Littlejim put the game out of reach. The Huskies fell to 3-13 on the season in their third straight loss.
The Huskies were previously scheduled to open their home schedule Friday with a three-game weekend series against Valparaiso, but the team announced Thursday the series has been moved to Chicago State.
NIU will play a doubleheader starting 12:30 p.m. Saturday against the Crusaders with game two to follow.