Baseball on best streak since 2001

By Scott Nicol

Baseball pushed its winning streak to six games, its longest since 2001, sweeping conference opponent Bowling Green State University in a three-game series over the weekend.

This was NIU’s first conference sweep since April 2013 and first back-to-back shutouts since April 2014.

The win moved the Huskies to 18-25 and 12-6 in the MAC, tying them with Ball State Univesrity for the MAC West regular-season lead.

NIU got off to a hot start Friday with a season-high 20 runs, including three hits and four RBIs each from senior shortstop Brian Sisler and sophomore second baseman Brad Wood.

Pitching dominated the rest of the series — the Huskies didn’t give up a run in either of the final two contests, giving the team its first back-to-back shutouts on the year.

Senior pitcher Ryan Olson retired 12 straight batters between the second and fifth inning, recording a career-high in strikeouts in eight innings pitched in Saturday’s 6-0 win.

“Great team win [Saturday],” said head coach Mike Kunigonis, according to an NIU Athletics news release. “We battled all around and grinded to get the ‘W’. Olson had a fantastic performance and kept working his tail off, it was a great win for him.”

Sunday brought more of the same dominant pitching as sophomore pitcher Donovin Sims pitched seven shutout innings, striking out three with no walks on his way to a 2-0 shutout win.

“It was nice to see us finish a weekend and play solid baseball for 27 innings,” Kunigonis said, according to an NIU Athletics news release. “It was another great performance by [Donovin] Sims and a great outing for [Joey] Ceja.”

NIU will return home this week, hosting Valparaiso University on Tuesday and the University of Toledo over the weekend, with the series beginning Friday. The Huskies will honor their seniors with festivities prior to Sunday’s game.