NIU baseball: Huskies topple UIC, extend win streak to 3 games

By Steve Shonder

Baseball (18-24, 7-11 MAC) had it going on at the plate and on the mound as it downed the Illinois-Chicago Flames (20-18-1), 8-4, Tuesday in Chicago.

The victory gives the Huskies their first three-game winning streak since March 8-11.

The Huskies jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning when redshirt senior Micah McCulloch scored on a groundout by sophomore Carl Russell. Russell drove in McCulloch again in the fifth with a base hit to the shortstop.

The Huskies extended their lead to four with a pair of runs in the sixth, which proved to be much needed. Freshman starter Kevin Jones had cruised through the first six innings, but he ran into trouble in the seventh.

Jones was tagged for three runs, and the Flames managed to tie the game up off freshman Donovin Sims, courtesy of a two-run single by Tyler Detmer.

The tie wouldn’t hold up for long as McCulloch singled home junior Johnny Zubek to retake the lead in the top of the eighth. The Huskies added three more runs in the inning to go up 8-4. Redshirt senior Kevin Sweeney came out of the pen to hold the Flames scoreless in his 2.2 innings pitched despite hitting a pair of batters.

At the plate

McCulloch went 3-4 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. McCulloch scored the first two runs of the game and later went on to drive in Zubek to retake the lead.

On the mound

While Jones ran into some trouble in the seventh inning, he shut out the Flames through the first six innings, allowing just five hits and one walk. He ended his outing having allowed six hits, two walks and three runs over 6.1 innings of work.

Up next

The Huskies will put their win streak on the line as they play host to the Valparaiso Crusaders (17-21) 3:05 p.m. Wednesday at Ralph McKinzie Field.