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Alex Klonowski Stops Sweep With Gem Vs Rockets in DeKalb

Rockets get a much needed series victory, while Klonowski shines in Huskies only win.

Anthony Andres allowed 10 hits through seven innings of work on Friday against Toledo.
Anthony Andres allowed 10 hits through seven innings of work on Friday against Toledo.
NIU Athletics

The Toledo Rockets (12-16, 4-5 MAC) went into Dekalb looking to get the season back on the right path, while the Northern Illinois Huskies (6-21, 3-6 MAC) were looking to defend their home territory. The Rockets took games 1, and 2 pretty easily before the Huskies unleashed a beating in the series finale.

Game One was over from the start on Saturday afternoon when the Rockets exploded for a five run first inning right out of the gate. Anthony Andres (2-4) took a tough luck loss. Andres was able to scatter ten hit, and four walks in seven innings of work. Only two of the eight runs scored by the Rockets against him were earned. Errors did NIU in early and often accounting for six unearned runs.

Ryan Wilkinson (2-3) pitched well enough to win allowing seven hits, six strikeouts, and four earned runs over eight and a third innings pitched. Wilkinson was probably left on the bump and inning to long as he surrendered a grand slam in the ninth to pinch hitter Micah Mcculoch ending his shutout bid.

The Rockets were lead by catcher James Miglin (2-for-5) who drove in a team high three runs. Senior Tyler Grogg (2-for-4) scored a team best three runs while Jacob North (3 for 5) and Dan Zuchowski (2-for-4) also had multi-hit performances.

Games Two also went in favor of the Rockets as they crushed the ball all over the field for a total of thirteen hits. Sam Schute (2-1) allowed four hits, two walks, two earned runs, and four strikeouts for the win. The bullpen would not allow a run and closer Adam Tyson came on in the ninth for his thirds save in four tries.

For the Huskies, Eli Anderson had a hard time getting batters to miss pitches. Anderson worked six and a third innings throwing eighty nine pitches. He allowed ten hits, a walk, four strikeouts, and six earned runs. The bullpen combination of Frankenreid, Williams, and Neuman limited the Rockets to three hits and allowing no runs.

Freshman Jordan Kessen lead the Rockets with three hits, while teammates Deion Tansel, James Miglin, Ryan Callahan, and Tyler Baar all chipped in with two as well.

For the Huskies Johnny Zubek (1 for 3) had a run batted in.

The Huskies would finally find the offense in game three, while the Rockets bats went ice cold. Huskies pitcher Alex Klonowski (1-2) tossed a beauty allowing one hit, and one walk in a complete game shutout. Klonowski was brilliant locating his pitches exactly where he wanted, and forcing weak contact when the Rockets did put the ball in play. He also finished with nine strikeouts to pick up his first win of the season.

For the Rockets Stephen Calhoun (1-1) took the loss, but it was relief pitcher Caleb Schillace who struggled for the Rockets. Calhoun only went four innings allowing two runs (both unearned) on two hits and four walks. Shillace struggled with his command and it showed managing two and two thirds innings of work with five hits, a walk, and five runs allowed (four earned).

Brian Sisler (0-4) had two RBI for the Huskies, while Joe Battaglia, Chris Divarco, and Alex Klonowski accounted for one a piece. Tyler Grogg would pick up the lone hit for the Rockets in the top of the first inning, and the rockets would only see one other base runner for the rest of the game when Dan Zuchowski walked in the fourth.

NIU travels to Eastern Michigan for its next conference series while the Rockets will take on the top team in the MAC Ball State at home.