CHICAGO – Sophomore Jeff Zimmerman hammered two homeruns and had six RBIs as Northern Illinois clobbered Illinois-Chicago, 11-9. The Huskie pitching staff combined for 13 strikeouts in the game and Kyle Glancy notched his 11th save of the season.
“The guys battled hard out there and did a good job of building the lead and taking it back to get the win,” NIU coach Ed Mathey said. “We executed on offensively throughout the game and Kyle came in during the ninth to shut the door with a save. Jeff was seeing the ball very well today and could have had three homeruns today but the outfielder made the catch on the warning track.”
Jamison Wells singled to start the game and stole his 24th base of the season, followed by a Connor Duckhorn walk to put two runners on base. With two outs, Alex Jones on base after a fielder’s choice that lead Duckhorn to the dugout, Zimmerman homered over the right field fence to put NIU up 3-0.
Following a UIC run in the bottom of the first, Brett Frantini lead off the second inning with a solo homerun to increase NIU’s lead, 4-1. In the following stanza, NIU added another run when Jones singled to start the inning and Troy White singled to drive him home and lead, 5-1.
On the mound in the meanwhile, starting pitcher Eli Anderson was nearly dominant as he struck out seven batters and surrendered only one run on two hits and an error through four innings of work. Anderson would finish with five innings pitched, a career-high eight strikeouts, one walk and five earned runs.
With a 7-6 Huskie lead in the top of the seventh and one out, White walked and Zimmerman muscled his second home run of the game, going opposite field and lifting Northern Illinois 9-6 over the Flames. UIC would tie the contest in the bottom half of the inning on three hits, including two run single by Jacob McNamara.
Alex Klonowski stepped onto the mound from second base and stifled the Flames in his lone inning of work with two strikeouts to keep the game locked up at 9-9 through eight innings. In the top of the ninth a pair of RBI singles by White and Klonowski put NIU back up, 11-9.
Glancy stepped onto the mound in the ninth inning and closed the door on the Flames with one strikeout and one walk to record his 11th save of the season, one shy of his mark last season. Klonowski earned his third win of the season and is 3-0 this season.
Zimmerman finished the night 3 for 4 with two homeruns, a double and six RBIs. The Huskies' first six batters in the lineup finished a combined 13 for 26 with 10 runs. White was 3 for 4 as well with three runs, three RBIs and a triple.
The Huskies return to action Friday for a three game series with Central Michigan, beginning at 3:05 p.m.