Panthers Tripped Up At Northern Illinois
April 3, 2013
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois University took advantage of a five-run fourth inning and four errors to down the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team, 10-6, Wednesday afternoon at Ralph McKinzie Field.
The Panthers (11-12) got back into it with a four-run seventh inning against the Huskies (9-17), but could get no closer in falling for the first time in four games.
"You are going to get a game like that midweek," UWM head coach Scott Doffek said. "We are both throwing guys that aren't out there as much as they need to be to feel comfortable - and that is kind of what these games are about. Obviously, we certainly wanted to be more competitive than that, especially defensively."
The first midweek game of the season was also NIU's home opener, with 13 pitchers seeing action on the day for both teams combined.
Sophomore Gunnar Eastman (0-1) earned the start, allowing two runs in 3.0 innings, striking out a pair.
"I saw some encouraging signs from some guys out of the bullpen," Doffek said. "But, we didn't compete like I would have liked in the batters box and the mental energy was not good."
Milwaukee was limited to just five hits on the day, with no player recording a multi-hit effort. Sophomore Derek Peake did have a hit, stole a base and scored a team-high two runs. Jamison Wells keyed the NIU attack, finishing with three hits, three runs scored, four RBI's and three stolen bases.
UWM jumped ahead quickly. Peake singled and stole third after a walk and came home on freshman Mitch Ghelfi's fly ball to short right field that popped away from the second baseman. But the Huskies quickly retook the lead in their half of the inning, plating a pair on two hits, a hit by pitch and a pair of steals.
The score stayed that way into the fifth, when NIU took advantage of a couple of fielding miscues to tack on five runs, just two of which were earned.
Milwaukee made a big dent in the seventh, scoring four times. Peake forced in a run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two more scored on wild pitches. The final tally came on freshman Trevor Theissen's first collegiate hit, a single through the left side. Theissen also made a tremendous diving play in the field in the bottom of the seventh.
It's back to Horizon League play on the weekend, set to take on Youngstown State in a three-game series. First pitch of the opener is 2 p.m. CST Friday.