Two-sport Urban hits hard

By Nick Gerts and Matt Stacionis

Success follows Dan Urban.

Named Mid-American Conference Player of the Week for his 8-of-18 baseball hitting performance over spring break, Urban is starting to leave his mark on his second sport at NIU. After playing back-up quarterback to Chris Finlen on last year’s football team, he’s made his presence known after only two months on the diamond.

“Dan had a great week for us,” said NIU head coach Dave Schrage. “He really never had a bad at-bat for us during the entire trip. He picked up a big hit for us during the [nationally ranked] Stetson game, then he had a great game against Lehigh.”

Urban is third on the team with a .350 batting average. He also is etched inside the football record books after completing a 99-yard pass to Justin McCareins last season.

“This is a real credit to how hard Dan has worked,” Schrage said.

Observers will have to wait an extra day to see Urban and the Huskies’ hitting at home. NIU’s game against Mount St. Clare, which was supposed to be played at 1 p.m Tuesday, was cancelled because of unplayable field conditions.

The cancellation makes three for the season for NIU after two games were canceled during the Huskies’ spring break trip to Florida last week. While none of the games from break will be made up, an attempt will be made to reschedule Tuesday’s contest.

The Huskies (7-6) will face intrastate rival Chicago State for a twin bill at Ralph McKenzie Field today. Game 1 gets under way at 1 p.m.

Last season, Schrage made his home coaching debut against Chicago State, only to see the Huskies split the double-header. The Huskies lost the first game 2-1, but came back to win Game 2, 10-8. NIU went to Chicago State later in the season, taking the 11-2 victory.

Junior outfielder Pat Kerrigan needs two more doubles to pass Mark Boothe’s career total of 37. Kerrigan led the team last year with 18 doubles and has three this season.

After their game against Chicago State today, the Huskies head to Ball State to start Mid-American Conference play. The Cardinals swept the Huskies last year in their four-game weekend series, holding NIU to four runs.