Huskies win one, lose two baseball games at Oakland


Sophomore pitcher Connor Langreder throws a pitch during a game against Sacramento State Feb. 21 in Sacramento, California.

By Noah Silver, Sports Reporter

The NIU baseball team lost two of three games against the University of Oakland this weekend, dropping them to a record of 7-27 overall and 6-12 in conference play.

Friday, game one: Oakland 16, NIU 14

The first game between the Huskies and Golden Grizzlies was a slugfest, with both teams scoring more than 14 runs. The Huskies eventually lost 16-14.

“We showed what we’re capable of at the plate today,” head coach Mike Kunigonis said in an NIU Athletics news release. “Game one was a very high-scoring game. We battled back to take the lead but unfortunately couldn’t find a way to hold on.”

NIU struck first as sophomore infielder Mason Kelley was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to give the Huskies a 1-0 lead. Sophomore infielder Aaron Harper then hit a sacrifice fly to drive another run in to make it 2-0.

Oakland answered quickly in the bottom of the inning, scoring six runs to make it 6-2 Grizzlies. The Grizzlies then added three more in the fourth to make it 9-2.

The Huskies rallied in the fifth inning with a three-run home run by junior outfielder Carlos Aranda and hits by sophomore infielder Andre Demetral and sophomore outfielder Brandon Johnson to tie the game 9-9.

Both teams then traded runs back and forth through the later innings until the bottom of the eighth, when the Grizzlies were able to take the lead for good and make it 16-13. The Huskies were able to score one in the ninth, but it was not enough as the Grizzlies won 16-14.

Friday game two: Oakland 10, NIU 4 

Game two was just as fast paced as game one, as a plethora of runs were scored in the first inning.

NIU broke through first in the first inning as sophomore infielder Eric Erato hit an RBI double to score one and make the game 1-0 Huskies. The Grizzlies responded in the bottom of the inning, sending ten batters to the plate and scoring six runs. 

In the second inning, Demetral, along with junior infielder Paddy McKermitt and Jonathan Latham drove in three runs to make it 6-4. The Grizzlies struck again in the bottom of the second with two more runs to make it 8-4, and then tacked another on in the fourth to make it 9-4. 

One more run in the fifth for the Grizzlies finished the scoring for the night, as the Grizzlies took game two 10-4.

Saturday: NIU 9, Oakland 5

Game three was a better showing for the Huskies, as they notched 17 hits, along with Aranda going 4-4 with three RBI’s.

NIU started the scoring in the top of the second inning as Aranda drove in a run on an RBI double to make the score 1-0. Senior outfielder Matt Barnes then cleared the bases with a two run single to make it 3-0.

The Grizzlies scored one in the bottom of the inning to make it 3-1.

In the fourth inning, NIU built on their lead as Aranda hit an RBI single to make it 4-1. Erato then hit a lazy ground ball that should have ended the inning, but a throwing error allowed two more to score making it 6-1. The Huskies tacked on two more in the fifth on hits by McKermitt and Barnes to put the Huskies up 8-1. 

The Grizzlies started to fight back in the sixth and seventh innings, as they tacked on two runs to make the score 8-3. 

In the ninth, Combs hit a sacrifice fly to put the Huskies up 9-3. The Grizzlies comeback fell short in the ninth as they were only able to add on two more runs to make the final score 9-5.