UBBOCK, Texas – Northern Illinois freshman continued to shine at the Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic as the pups highlighted the Huskies 13-0 loss against Texas Tech in the tournament finale.
“It was an early start to the day and there were a lot of things going on today with a doubleheader in front of us,” said Head Coach Ed Mathey, “Our defense was good throughout the day and it was good to see how the young guys performed against the competition today. We gave ourselves a chance this morning but couldn’t get anything going in the afternoon. We couldn’t hit it hard enough and away from (Texas Tech’s) defense.”
After a stirring performance in the morning with a West Texas sunrise in the backdrop against Northern Colorado, Northern Illinois opened the ball game with gusto against the Red Raiders coming off Friday’s loss.
With two scoreless innings defensively under NIU’s belt, freshman Tommy Hook, in his first collegiate start and appearance at second base, drove a 1-1 pitch to left center field to land on second base in his first at-bat. Junior catcher Nate Ruzich reached base in the next at-bat as he was hit by a pitch, but the Huskies stranded the runners.
The Red Raiders scored five runs in the bottom of the third and seven in the fifth inning. “They scored almost all of their runs in two innings of the game, if we put a stop to their runs sooner, the game ends a lot closer,” added Mathey.
Later in the afternoon, Johnny Zubek entered the game for Ruzich and singled in his first collegiate at-bat as well. Ruzich finished the day with no at-bats and was hit by two pitches.
From the mound Ryan Olson, Justin Ruckman and Jon Savarise combined for two scoreless innings in the game and only one hit.
Northern Illinois (0-4) will return to action at Nevada (1-2) next weekend for a four game series with Wolf Pack, beginning Feb. 22.