Baseball heading down south to face St. John’s, Texas Tech

By Brian Thomas

After being swept by Tennessee in its first three games of the season, NIU baseball will travel to Texas to take on St. John’s and Texas Tech.

The Huskies (0-3) will play a double-header Saturday, first against St. John’s followed up by Texas Tech.

NIU also plays two more games against Texas Tech, one Sunday and the other Monday.

“We get an opportunity to play a lot of games here,” said NIU coach Ed Mathey. “We get to make adjustments and that what baseball is all about.”

Although the Huskies came away without a win last weekend, they learned about themselves as a team and what they need to work on to be successful.

“I think the biggest thing for me is that we definitely need to pitch the ball more competitively,” Mathey said. “By that, I mean we need to get to what our strength is and that’s throwing strikes and working ahead of hitters.”

It won’t get any easier for NIU this weekend, as Mathey said St. John’s and Texas Tech will be two tough opponents.

“We’re going to have our work cut out for us,” Mathey said. “St. John’s is a team that had a lot of preseason rankings in the top 20 in the country, so they are going to be a challenge for us. And Texas Tech has two players that are projected to be top six or seventh round picks in the Major League Draft this year. One of them on the mound and then their center fielder, Barrett Barnes.”

In order for the Huskies to be successful this weekend, Mathey said they will have to be strong on the mound and force St. John’s and Texas Tech to swing often.

“We need to make them swing the bats, and not give up free passes,” Mathey said. “I really feel that this team can be a very good defensive team, but we need to get the ball started the right in terms of throwing strikes over the plate,”