It could be, it might be, it is … a home run

By John Dietz

Harry Caray would have gone bananas during the doubleheader that featured eight long balls between the Huskies and the University of Northern Iowa Tuesday at NIU’s McKinzie Field.

Joining in the fun for NIU were Mike Birsa, Dan Colucci and Chip Paulsen, who ripped two long balls on the brisk afternoon.

The festivities began when Paulsen cranked a three-run homer in the first inning of the opener to put the Huskies up 4-1.

The fun continued for NIU when Birsa stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second. Birsa unloaded a deep two-run double to left field that came within feet of clearing the fence for a grand slam.

On the very next pitch, Colucci smashed a three-run blast that put NIU up 9-1. Two more runs crossed the plate in the seven- run second inning, and NIU comfortably led 11-1.

“A day like today will add about 100 points to your batting average,” NIU head coach Joe “Spanky” McFarland said. “Once the balls started flying out, the guys thought about hitting bombs.”

The Huskies repeated their seven-run second inning in the second frame of the nightcap, once again courtesy of the long ball. Paulsen hit a solo blast to get NIU on the board. Four more runs crossed the plate before Birsa sent another one deep.

This time it had the distance and Birsa trotted home with his third home run of the season.

Both with six RBI’s on the afternoon, Paulsen and Birsa improved their RBI totals to 12 and 21, respectively.