KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Six different Northern Illinois batters scattered hits at Western Michigan Sunday afternoon, but were only able to account for one run and fell to WMU, 6-1.
“It was a frustrating day and we started the game off the right way, stringing together a few hits with two outs in the inning,” NIU coach Ed Mathey said. “Our bats went silent and that’s something we have to continue to work on as we move forward. Tony pitched well enough to keep us in the game and gave us a good chance to win a game.
A trio of singles, in back-to-back-to-back fashion no less, by Troy White, Jeff Zimmerman and Alex Klonowski got the Huskies a run in the top of the first inning with Klonowski driving in White from third base. WMU would match the Huskies' run in the bottom of the first tie the game, 1-1, and increase its lead to 2-1.
With three straight scoreless innings, the Huskies knocked on the door in the top of the sixth, loading the bases when Zimmerman was hit by a pitch, Klonowski reached on catcher’s interference and Connor Duckhorn singled off the calf of pitcher Will Nimke, who left the mound after the blow. Monty Porter stepped onto the mound and grounded Battaglia into a 5-2-3 double play to end the threat.
Western Michigan added one run in the bottom of the sixth inning and another in the seventh to increase its lead, 4-1. Starting pitcher Tony Manville exited in the seventh inning following the run and was relieved by Tom Barry. Manville surrendered nine hits and two earned runs in 6.1 innings of work, striking out one, while Barry only pitched in the seventh, finishing with 0.2 innings of work and zero hits.
Kyle Glancy stepped into the game with in the eighth and finished the game for the Huskies, allowing a hit, two runs, a walk and striking out one in his relief appearance. NIU combined for six hits in the game, all of which were collected by different Huskie batters.
“Moving forward, we want to end the season on a four-game win streak. We head to Milwaukee on Tuesday and we want to build some momentum for our last series with Ball State,” added the Huskie skipper.
Northern Illinois will return to action Tuesday afternoon for its final road game of the year when it heads to UW-Milwaukee. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.