Huskie Briefs: March 23

By Jimmy Johnson

Deain, Smith signed by Slammers

Former NIU pitchers Andy Deain and Brian Smith have been signed by the Joliet Slammers of the Frontier League.

Deain had 23 career saves with the Huskies, which ranks him second in program history and eighth all-time in the MAC. The Prairie Ridge High School graduate’s 17 career wins rank fourth in the history of NIU while his 156 career strikeouts are ninth most ever. Deain spent 2010 with the Baltimore Orioles organization, putting together a 3.29 ERA in 38 1/3rd innings with three teams in the Orioles farm system.

Oates, Passolt named NIU Scholar Athletes of Week

After well-rounded performances in their respective sports, NIU pitcher Zach Oates and women’s golfer Kelsie Passolt were named NIU Scholar Athletes of the Week (March 14-20).

Oates earned his first victory of the 2011 season after a complete-game shutout against Illinois, allowing three hits with five strikeouts. A business major with a 3.22 GPA currently has a 2.93 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .233 batting average in 27.2 innings in his four starts this year.

Moving from the pitchers mound to the greenery, Passolt led NIU by contributing with a final round of 78, to finish in 15th place at the 25th Annual Snowbird Intercollegiate.

Clark, Wilson will not return to NIU Football Team in 2011

Once spring practices start for the NIU football team, two familiar faces will not be on the defensive side.

According to a news release, Huskies football head coach Dave Doeren announced last week that safety Tracy Wilson and linebacker Tyrone Clark will not be on the 2011 roster.

Clark, who finished third on the team in tackles with 78 wrap-ups last season, will sit out the 2011 season due to personal reasons. The St. Louis, Mo. native will still be enrolled as a student at NIU and is eligible to practice with the team.

Wilson’s departure is due to his interest in pursuing professional football opportunities.

Wilson appeared in only eight games, recording 35 tackles.