Baseball loses home series


Senior pitcher Joe Hawkins pitches during Friday’s home game against Bowling Green. The Huskies lost game one 7-4 and lost game two by 9-1.

By Eddie Garcia

DeKALB — The baseball team started the weekend strong with an 11-0 victory Friday before it dropped both games of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Bowling Green State University Falcons.

This gave the Falcons the series win after winning two of the three games.

The Huskies (8-19, 4-2 MAC) had 14 total hits, including four doubles and a home run by junior infielder Samuel Vega in Friday’s game. NIU fell, 4-7, in game one of the doubleheader and, 1-9, in game two, as the offense combined for five runs and 13 total hits on the day.

“We will continue to battle and learn these lessons one way or another,” said Head Coach Mike Kunigonis. “We need to bounce back and get ready for a very good Milwaukee team on Tuesday.”


The Huskies opened up the series when senior starting pitcher Joe Hawks picked up his third consecutive win as a starter, and Vega went 4-for-5 with four runs scored.

“The guys did a good job today of grinding away and battling every inning,” Kunigonis said. “The combination of quality starting pitching and sound fundamentals on defense is the key to our success.”

Hawks threw seven shutout innings against the Falcons as he now leads the team on the mound with a 3.03 ERA, with 40 strikeouts, in 38 and 2/3 innings pitched.

Four Huskies collected two or more hits including a solo home run by Vega in the fifth — his first at NIU.

Tommy Hook, redshirt senior first baseman, was perfect at the plate going 3-for-3 with an RBI, a run scored and a walk.

NIU did most of their damage in the sixth inning as they batted around the order to score six runs on six hits and forced two pitching changes for Bowling Green.

Saturday game 1 — Falcons 7, Huskies 4

The Huskies jumped to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning with some help from Vega, who hit his second home run of the season in back-to-back days.

Freshman infielder Tommy Szczasny went 2-for-4, including a double in the first and a run scored. Junior designated hitter Jesus Tovar III increased his average to .321 as he collected two hits along with a walk.

Senior starting pitcher Nathan Thomas struggled to find the strike zone as he allowed four runs, three hits and six walks through six innings on the mound.

“We are still learning a ton about the game every day,” Kunigonis said. “We are learning to play with a lead, learning to play from behind and learning to put teams away when we have the chance.”

Bowling Green tallied up nine total hits while scoring three runs twice in the sixth and eighth innings to complete the comeback victory, 7-4.


Sophomore starting pitcher Donovin Sims, who previously lead the team in wins (3) and ERA (3.16), struggled against the Falcons line up as he allowed seven runs before being removed midway through the fourth inning.

Sims gave up seven hits and six earned runs in the 19 batters he faced before getting replaced by junior relief pitcher George Faue.

After allowing one run in the first inning, Bowling Green’s junior starting pitcher Zac Carey kept the Huskies lineup in check pitching eight scoreless innings for the complete game win.

Junior infielder Brad Wood tallied three errors in the game at shortstop, which resulted in two runs scored by the Falcons.

NIU combined for six hits in the game with contribution from only four players.

The Huskies look to increase their winning record at home as they will play the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Panthers 3:05 p.m. Tuesday.