Baseball loses heartbreaker in Murray State series finale

The Huskies’ season record is now 0-8 prior to their trip to Lipscomb next weekend.


Courtesy Bob Solorio

Junior left-handed pitcher Reagan Klawiter pitches during a game against Sacramento State Feb. 18 in Sacramento, California.

By Jordan Radloff and Waleed Alamleh

DeKALB — The NIU baseball team continued their losing streak after falling to Murray State University 13-3 Saturday in the first game of a weekend series in Murray, Kentucky. The Huskies were unable to capitalize on their nine hits during the game, leaving seven runners on base without scoring.

Junior left-handed pitcher Reagan Klawiter started the game for the Huskies but was relieved after four innings following six scored runs from Murray State.

Senior outfielder Matt Barnes and junior designated-hitter Carlos Aranda both tallied two hits for NIU during the game.

Day two, game one: Murray State 8, NIU 5

NIU lost the first game of a doubleheader 8-5 against Murray State Saturday.

The Huskies were unable to keep up with Murray State after they established an early four-run lead in the first inning. Senior starting pitcher Michael Lasiewicz threw seven walks to contribute to NIU’s total of 10 walks in the game, and he was relieved after the fourth inning.

Murray State’s pitching staff also threw many walks with seven in total. Two of NIU’s scored runs in the third innings came as a result of walks with the bases loaded.

NIU offensive stats included two hits from both sophomore Eric Erato and sophomore Mason Kelley.

Day two, game two: Murray State 13, NIU 2

The second game of the doubleheader Saturday was a more decisive win for Murray State, having a final score of 13-2. The Racers once again sped off to a quick lead and kept NIU scoreless until the fifth inning.

The Huskies were unable to keep Murray State’s scoring to a minimum despite four strikeouts from senior starting pitcher Kyle Seebach. While NIU once again had a high number of walks with a total of nine base on balls, Murray State threw no walks in the second game.

Erato tallied two hits again in the second game, giving him four hits for the day.

Day three: Murray State 7, NIU 6

The NIU baseball team’s comeback attempt fell short after losing to Murray State University 7-6 in the series finale Monday afternoon. The Huskies losing streak has now reached eight in a row. 

The Huskies’ bats got off to a fast start in the second inning, scoring two runs off of a sacrifice fly by junior catcher Scott Combs and an RBI single by junior infielder Paddy McKermitt.  The Huskies had a chance to put more runs on the board, but left runners stranded on second and third after sophomore infielder Eric Erato struck out looking. 

Murray State was able to finally breakthrough on sophomore starting pitcher Connor Langreder in the third inning. Langreder was pitching wild to start the inning, hitting the Racers first batter and walking the next two. Langreder got the next man out before Murray State’s freshman infielder Carson Gardner singled to center, tying the game up 2-2. The Racers put up two more runs after that to take a 4-2 lead going into the fourth inning. 

Time was running for NIU, down 5-2 going into the eighth inning. The Huskies picked it back up on offense, getting a bases-loaded opportunity for junior infielder Malik Peters. Peters took advantage of the moment, shooting a single into left field, scoring two runs and cutting the deficit to one.

Senior first-basemen Paxton Kennedy tied the game at 5-5 with an RBI single before going into the bottom of the eighth. The Racers followed the Huskies big inning with one of their own. Murray State was able to put runners on second and third early in the inning, and then Murray State graduate senior Alex Crump grounded out to third to bring in a run. Gardner followed up with a single up the middle to take a 7-5 lead and knock in the game-winning run.  

The Huskies kept fighting in the top of the ninth, putting runners on first and third with no outs. NIU’s sophomore infielder Aaron Harper grounded into a double-play that brought a run home, cutting the lead to just one. The Huskies then got their next two men on board before Peters struck out swinging, ending the game 7-6. 

Looking ahead to next weekend

The Huskies will have a chance to get in the win column next week when they travel to Nashville, Tennessee, for a series with Lipscomb University. The series starts at 4 p.m Friday.