Make it rain

By Katie Lavelle

CHICAGO | A four-run second inning was all it took for the NIU baseball team to snap its five game losing streak, as it posted a 4-3 victory over Illinois-Chicago Tuesday night in a rain-shortened eight-inning game in Chicago.

“After five losses, any win’s a good win,” coach Ed Mathey said. “We’re hoping to keep it going this week and set last week aside.”

It looked as if the Huskies’ losing streak would extend to six games when the Flames scored two runs in their half of the first.

The first two batters, Ty Rubio and Jake Carr, each singled to start off the game and later came around to score, giving the Flames an early 2-0 lead.

The Huskies countered in the top of the second when they scored four runs off three hits. Senior Scott Simon started off the inning by lacing a single to left field and Danny Reed followed by coaxing a walk.

After Justin Behm flew out, designated hitter Jeff Thomas singled to right center to score Simon. Two batters later, with the bases loaded, left fielder Daniel Jewett was hit by the pitch to tie the game at two. The next batter, Pat Minogue, singled down the left field line to score Marc Besteman, who reached on a walk, and Thomas to give the Huskies a 4-2 lead.

“I was just looking for a pitch to drive,” Minogue said. “I got a pitch on the inner half of the plate and was fortunate enough to get a good piece of it and score some runs.”

UIC cut the lead to 4-3 in the 6th inning when former Huskie Larry Gempp Jr. reached on a bunt single and later came around to score off a David Cales single to right-center.

Brandon Copp earned the win for the Huskies, going five innings, giving up four hits and two earned runs with five strike-outs. Mark Badgley pitched the sixth and seventh and Andy Deain pitched a perfect eight inning to earn the save for the Huskies.