Baseball can’t get ahead in sweep

By Sean Ostruszka

After winning two games in a row, NIU baseball coach Ed Mathey thought his team had turned around its season.

But a three-game series over the weekend at Western Michigan showed Mathey may have spoken too early.

Through 27 innings, the Huskies held the lead during the first inning of Sunday’s game. Other than that one inning, NIU couldn’t stop WMU from sweeping the series and extending its nine-game win streak.

This weekend marked the fourth time NIU has been swept in a three-game series this season.

While WMU is on top of the MAC with its perfect conference record, NIU remained at the bottom of the standings as the only team in the MAC to not put up a conference win.

“It’s just getting frustrating,” Mathey said. “The effort is there but the results aren’t.”

In Games 1 and 3, WMU (14-11 overall, 6-0 MAC) showed how locked-in they were, putting up 30 runs in wins of 14-3 and 16-5, respectively.

“[WMU] is a team that is really locked-in offensively right now,” Mathey said. “And we just weren’t able to match what they did.”

The only game NIU (8-19 overall, 0-6 MAC) had a chance at a win came Saturday afternoon, Mathey said.

NIU pitcher Adam Holdenrid was able to contain WMU’s hitters in Game 2 and allow only two runs through 7.1 innings of work.

Jake Blair hit a two-run home run for the Huskies to tie the game in the fifth inning, and the two teams stayed deadlocked until the ninth.

In the ninth, NIU was able to load the bases with two outs, but Greg Larsen was unable to get a clutch hit.

Clutch hits were a little easier to come by for WMU, as pinch hitter Travis May hit a single to score Justin Carter and take Game 2, 3-2.

“Our hitting was just not where it needed to be,” Mathey said. “We had our chances early in Games 1 and 3. And Game 2 we just didn’t get it done.”