Baseball drops two of three to Salukis

James Krause

CARBONDALE — The baseball team dropped two of three this weekend against the Southern Illinois Salukis, falling to 3-11 on the season.

After dropping game one Friday 3-1, the team broke a six-game losing streak Saturday with a 17-2 victory, but a late Sunday rally wasn’t enough to pick up the series win.

Head Coach Mike Kunigonis said the difference between winning and losing the series came down to the small details.

“The difference in us coming away with a series win was the little things,” Kunigonis said. “We need to be better at taking care of what we can control. If we can start to do that, this group will have a lot of success.”

 

Friday-Salukis 3, Huskies 1

The cross state rivals started with a defensive matchup that saw both squads not allow a baserunner until the bottom of third, when senior catcher Colin Butkiewicz doubled to right center.

Sophomore outfielder Brad Hudson flew out to bring Butkiewicz home as the Salukis took a 1-0 lead.

Grad student Will LaRue gave SIU their second run after a fielding error by first-year right fielder Nick Drobushevich allowed him to get on base. LaRue later scored on an unearned sacrifice fly.

Sophomore designated-hitter Connor Montgomery scored NIU’s only run of the game in the seventh with an RBI single to score junior catcher Jake Dunham.

Freshman pitcher Erik Hedmark pitched seven innings for the Huskies and gave up only one earned run, but was credited his second loss of the season.

 

Saturday-Huskies 17, Salukis 2

After a defensive struggle the day before, the Huskies’ offense exploded Saturday with a season-high 17 runs.

Six different players recorded RBIs with Dunham recording a game-high four thanks to a grand slam in the seventh inning.

Junior outfielder Kam Smith led the team in hits and runs, going 4-6 and scoring three times.

Drobushevich made up for his fielding struggles earlier with a new career-high in RBIs and hits, going 3-6 with 3 RBIs.

Senior infielder and pitcher Ty Jandrowski recorded his second hit of the year, with a three-run home run in the ninth to give the Huskies the eventual 17-2 final.

Junior outfielders Josh Mutter and Brendan Joyce also registered RBIs in the highest scoring non-conference road game for the Huskies since 2015.

Sophomore pitcher Michael Lasiewicz did his part from the mound, registering ten strikeouts over six innings in the win.

 

Sunday-Salukis 8, Huskies 6

The Salukis tried to put the Huskies in the rear-view mirror with two early runs in the second inning and another three in the third.

NIU closed the 5-0 gap in the fifth inning with a pair of RBIs from Joyce and Drobushevich. The Salukis answered with two more runs of their own, including the third RBI of the day for sophomore infielder Grey Epps.

The Huskies once again came within striking distance with three runs in the seventh including Dunham scoring on a wild pitch to make it 7-6.

After the Salukis scored one in the eighth, NIU entered the final inning needing two runs to force extras.

With two outs and a runner at first, junior infielder Dylan Lonteen flew out to center to end the game.

The Huskies now head to Kansas for a midweek two-game series against the Kansas State Wildcats. First pitch for the first game is 3 p.m. Tuesday and can be seen live on ESPN+.