Baseball struggles in weekend series

Ryan Ostry

The change of scenery and weather apparently didn’t do much justice for the baseball team Friday through Sunday as NIU walked away with just one victory in four tries in the Lone Star State.

The Huskies (4-7) dropped the first contest against the University of the Incarnate Word (8-5) by a final score 7-3.

NIU got dominated in the second game, losing 17-0 where the game was called in seven innings due to the slaughter rule.

Head coach Mike Kunigonis’ team bounced back quickly Saturday evening taking the second game of the doubleheader with their own 15-1 blowout victory.

In the finale of the series Sunday, the Cardinals were just too much to handle, squeaking by the Huskies with a 7-5 series ending win.

“I’m disappointed in the outcomes,” Kunigonis said. “This is the second weekend in a row where we were one hit and maybe one play away from either splitting or winning the series.”

Friday – Cardinals 7, Huskies 3

Senior pitcher George Faue got the call in the first game of the series against the Cardinals, where Faue let up six runs with just three of them being earned in five innings of work.

The southpaw out of Corcoran, Minnesota struckout three hitters, walked three hitters, and saw his overall season record to 0-3.

NIU racked up four costly errors on the day, resulting in the Redhawks having nine hits and capitalizing on the Huskie miscues.

“Our record is flipped if we play defense,” Kunigonis said. “For whatever reason we are in a rough patch, but our guys won’t let this continue.”

Saturday morning- Redhawks 17, Huskies 0

In a game that went seven innings where the Huskies only manufactured one hit, the Redhawks kept pouring on the offense.

Incarnate Word scored in every inning, putting together a 22-hit afternoon while going through four NIU pitchers in just seven innings of baseball.

“Incarnate Word is a very good team, and they made us pay for all of our mistakes,” Kunigonis said. “These guys beat Notre Dame, almost beat Purdue and hung in with Texas A&M.”

The Huskies could only put together one hit in the game and sophomore pitcher Nate Thomas went just 2.2 innings giving up six runs off of nine hits.

Saturday afternoon – Huskies 15, Redhawks 1

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Huskies clicked on all cylinders, scoring 15 runs off of 14 hits.

NIU had three home runs in the game coming off the bats of senior infielder Brad Wood, sophomore infielder Tommy Szczasny and senior infielder Samuel Vega.

The Huskies got a strong outing from junior pitcher Tanner Foster, who went seven innings, giving up five hits and one run which was unearned.

Sunday – Redhawks 7, Huskies 5

In the finale of this four-game series, the University of the Incarnate Word out hit the Huskies 13-8 culminating in a 7-5 victory.

NIU freshman pitcher Michael Lasiewicz struggled in his third outing of the year only going 3.1 innings and giving up five runs and seven hits.

Wood went 3-for-5 on the day scoring two runs and driving in two RBIs for the Huskies.

Freshman outfielder Ridge Rogers of the Redhawks led the way going 5-for-5 on the day just missing a home run to complete the cycle.

NIU will look to bounce back as they will face in state rival Southern Illinois University Salukis 3 p.m. Friday in Carbondale, Illinois.