Akron Baseball Struggles Offensively In Two Losses to Northern Illinois

Eli Anderson now has 200 strikeouts as a Huskie, helped win series over Akron. - NIU Athletics

NIU's pitching gets the job done to win two out of three over Akron.

With MAC play winding down for both Akron and Northern Illinois, Huskies pitching wore down the Zips for two weekend wins in three games.

Game One

It took 13 innings, but Akron was able to pull out is only win of the series as it scored three in the last inning to take down NIU in an outright battle.

Akron grabbed a 4-2 lead in the ninth with a solo homer by Kris Simonton. Akron's Matt LaRocca ran into trouble in the Huskies' last chance at extending the game. Northern Illinois was able to push across two runs when he threw a wild pitch and allowed an RBI hit by pitch that Alex Klonowski toughed out to allow another run. Northern Illinois had its chances to win by putting runners on in the 10th and 11th inning, but nothing came of it.

A combination of an error and singles led to three runs for the Zips in the 13th to win the game.

Akron received six strong innings of one run ball from starter John Valek to start the game. A combination of five relief pitchers came on to take it from Valek, with Myles McVeigh tossing the final three (scoreless) innings for the win.

NIU used a combination of eight pitchers in relief after starter Anthony Andres was chased with two outs in the third, having given up six hits and three runs.

The long-lasting duel ran from 3 p.m. to 7:44, leaving  both squads exhausted with two games left to play in the series.

Game Two

Northern Illinois stormed right back on Saturday afternoon with a 4-1 victory, thanks in large part to the arm of Eli Anderson.

The senior tossed a complete game and now has 200 strikeouts in his career as a Huskie. Anderson yielded just one run on six hits and one walk, while fanning seven. It took 114 pitches from Anderson to go the distance, as he reduced his earned run average to 3.44.

The Huskies put two runs on the board in the bottom of the first on consecutive RBI doubles by Joe Battaglia and Justin Fletcher. They later scored on an Alex Smith single and then a Johnny Zubek groundout that scored Tommy Hook after a triple.

A Matt LaRocca double plated a pair in the third, Akron's only run on the day.

Game Three

More struggles at the plate marked the third game as Akron fell once more on NIU's senior day, 2-0.

Alex Klonowksi, a senior, became the first Huskies player to have three shutouts in a season with the complete game victory. He allowed only two hits and two walks while striking out seven. Klonowski was dominating, as he did not allow a single hit to the top six batters in the lineup.

NIU struck first in the bottom of the first once more, as Brian Sisler hit a double that plated Brandon Mallder. NIU tacked on an insurance run in the eighth on a Johnny Zubek flare single that allowed Landon Tenhagen to score.

NIU moved to 17-33-1, and 11-13 in the Mid-American Conference with the win. Akron fell to 24-25 and 11-13 in the conference.

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