Game delayed due to schedule conflict, NIU baseball offense does just enough

By Andrew Singer

Starting pitcher Jake Hermsen and the NIU bats did just enough on Wednesday evening to squeak past Chicago State 4-2 at Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy.

NIU head coach Ed Mathey was looking to give a lot of his younger players some playing time in what he thought would be an easy win, considering two weeks ago, NIU made the Cougars scream uncle in a 20-5 win that was called after six and a half innings.

Chicago State (4-23) wouldn’t go quietly this time, however, as the Cougars tied the game at two in the bottom of the sixth inning, courtesy of two RBIs from Tony Sanchez. The Huskies (15-16 overall, 6-3 MAC) came back with two runs in the top of the seventh inning, but Mathey was taken aback by the Cougars’ effort.

“It was just one of those days,” Mathey said. “They were short on pitchers, so they had a couple position players pitch for them. They were a lot slower than the pitchers we usually see so our guys were a little on their front foot.”

Freshman reliever Eli Anderson gave up the two CSU runs in the sixth following the departure of Hermsen, but the NIU bullpen locked the Cougars down from there to earn the team’s fourth win in a row. By setting the Chicago State hitters down in the ninth inning, Kyle Glancy recorded his seventh save of the season.

Before the NIU bullpen was able to do its part, the Brooks Academy baseball team made a cameo appearance at its home field. The team had scheduled a game for 4:30 p.m., but were unable to start on time due to the Chicago State-NIU game that started at 3 p.m. Mathey said the Brooks coaches and players became so irate that they went into left field during the game and started stretching for their game. The Huskies’ game was halted for 35 minutes while the issue was cleared up.

“I had never seen anything like that in all my time in this game,” Mathey said.