Baseball goes 2-1 in opening week

Ryan Ostry

DeKALB — After losing the opening ball game of the year by a score of 3-2, the baseball team took two out of three games against the University of Central Arkansas Bears and took the series win.

NIU combined for 15 runs in the final two games, giving up just seven behind dominant pitching from senior pitcher Donovin Sims in game two and freshman pitcher Michael Lasiewicz in game three.

The Huskies totalled 14 hits in game three with six of them coming off the bat from senior infielder Brad Wood and senior infielder Samuel Vega.

“It was fantastic to go out there and win a weekend series,” said Head Coach Mike Kunigonis. “The guys are really excited.”

Friday — Bears 3, Huskies 2

NIU opened up with senior pitcher George Faue on the bump in the first game.

Faue went six innings and gave up eight hits and three runs with just one of them being earned.

“Our arms were unreal,” Kunigonis said. “The bullpen was lockdown, which I think will be one of the strong points of the team, but George definitely deserved a win Friday.”

Sophomore infielder Tommy Szczasny chipped in on the offense with two hits.

Senior outfielder Scooter Bynum helped get NIU out to a early 2-0 lead with an RBI single, but that’s all the insurance the pitching staff would get as they fell short by a score of 3-2.

Central Arkansas saw contributions from junior infielder Tyler Smith, who added three hits for the Bears.

Saturday — Huskies 6, Bears 3

The Huskies were led by redshirt junior infielder Ty Jandrowski and redshirt junior outfielder Hunter Bross, who each knocked in a pair of RBIs.

Kunigonis’ club scored two in the second inning followed by a run in the fifth, seventh and two more in the ninth inning.

Sims went five strong innings to carry the Huskies after a shaky start by sophomore pitcher Nate Thomas, who only went two innings and gave up two runs and four walks.

Sunday — Huskies 9, Bears 4

In the rubber match of the series, NIU was clicking on all cylinders offensively with 14 hits on the afternoon.

Wood and Vega combined for six hits on the day with Vega hitting his first home run of the season.

The Huskies were led by freshman pitcher Michael Lasiewicz, who threw six innings of work while allowing only two runs, neither of them were earned.

“It was great for him and for all of our guys,” Kunigonis said. “For a freshman to do what he did was outstanding, and he will only get better.”

NIU will look to continue its two-game winning streak 3 p.m. Friday against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The teams will play a five-game series.