MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Northern Illinois closed its road season Tuesday night with a 10-run, 12-hit outing against UW-Milwaukee at Henry Aaron Field. Despite a 94 minute rain delay, the Huskies were able to keep their foot on the throttle and defeated the Panthers, 10-4. Brett Frantini finished 2 for 4 at the plate with a homerun and four RBIs.
"We played loose today and I think that was a big key for us," NIU coach Ed Mathey said. "We kept our foot on the throttle after the rain delay and when we started up again Alex (Klonowski) hit a double down the line and Troy (White) scored standing up. Our bullpen had some good spots late in the game and we hope this carries into the final weekend."
Northern Illinois struck first blood, started by a Michael Kane walk with one out and continued by the UWM third baseman who allowed Chris Divarco to reach base on an error. Frantini hit his third homerun of the season over the left-center field wall to give NIU its 3-0 lead.
The Panthers scored one in the bottom half of the inning and tied the game up with two more runs in the bottom of the third on a ground-rule double by Sam Koenig and a sacrifice fly by Will Fadness. In the following inning, the Huskies took back the lead with a single by Frantini to make it a 4-3 game.
Pitcher Eli Anderson, who entered in the third inning, shut down the Panthers in the fourth inning including a strikeout to end the fourth. Jacob Goldenberg took the mound in the fifth and pitched through the sixth, striking out three batters and blanking Milwaukee in both innings.
When the seventh inning approached the Huskies began to string together hits, accounting for three runs in the inning on four hits. Jamison Wells, Alex Beckmann, Alex Jones and White tallied the four with Jones and White accounting for RBIs.
Alex Klonowski stepped up to the plate in the seventh and the game was delayed by rain for 94 minutes. When play resumed, the sophomore doubled to score White and give NIU an 8-3 lead. UW-Milwaukee’s Paul Hoenecke doubled in the bottom of the eighth inning and cut the lead in half to make it an 8-4 game after eight.
In the ninth the Huskies continued to assault UWM, started by a Beckmann double and followed by a Jones walk. White singled to center field to drive in Beckmann from second and NIU continued to score when Klonowski singled through the left side to score White and increase the score, 10-4, where it ended as UWM was unable to generate any hits in the bottom of the ninth.
Anderson earned his second win of the season and evened his season record to 2-2 with his two inning, two strikeout and zero walk performance.
The Huskies improved to 15-37 in 2012 and will close the regular season at Ralph McKinzie Field this weekend with their final Mid-American Conference series against Ball State, beginning Thursday at 3:05 p.m.