Baseball’s losing skid continues with two losses to Mizzou


Jan Salmon | Courtesy Southeast Arrow

Senior infielder Tommy Szczasny prepares for a pitch during NIU’s Feb. 21-23 series against Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO.

By Matt Boecker

DeKALB — Baseball couldn’t get back on track in a pair of road losses to the University of Missouri Tigers Tuesday and Wednesday.

NIU’s offensive woes bring its losing streak to five games.

Game One

The Huskies started out hot, scoring three runs in the first inning, but NIU couldn’t keep the momentum rolling as it got shutout for the remainder of the game in a 6-3 loss.

A 3-run blast from senior catcher Jake Dunham put the Huskies on top out of the gates. The homerun was Dunham’s fourth of the season, tying his total from last season.

The lead wouldn’t last long, as Mizzou matched NIU with a 3-run homerun of its own in the bottom of the first.

The Huskies’ struggled offensively for the remainder of the game, as only two more hits were recorded for NIU in the final eight innings.

The Tigers were able to tack on three more runs to tally their sixth consecutive victory.

Defense was also an issue for the Huskies, as two of Mizzou’s final three runs were unearned. NIU recorded five errors in the game.

Game Two

Dominant pitching was the story in Wednesday’s game.

NIU’s pitchers turned in good performances, but the offense remained in a funk as the Huskies dropped their fifth straight game by a score of 3-2 in 12 innings.

Senior pitcher Ryan Anderson got it done on the bump, throwing 6.1 innings and allowing only one run when Mizzou launched a homer in the third inning.

Anderson and NIU’s relief pitchers couldn’t get any run support from their offense. The only two runs NIU scored were unearned, as they came off a wild pitch and passed ball. The latter came in the top of the ninth and forced the game to extra innings.

Senior pitcher Nate Thomas allowed some traffic on the base paths in extra innings, allowing two hits and three walks in the final 3.1 innings of play, but he was able to get his team out of jams and continued extending the game.

Unfortunately, NIU’s offense couldn’t get on the scoreboard and in the 12th inning, the Tigers walked it off with a single. Thomas would take the loss, bringing his record to 2-2.

NIU’s record falls to 7-10 after being swept in consecutive series.

Due to concerns over COVID-19, baseball, along with all other spring sports, have been cancelled for the remainder of their seasons.