Jon Back leads
off first base against SIUE
ALLENDALE, Mich. - Missed
Northern Kentucky University
had plenty of chances against Southern Illinois at Edwardsville
in the first round of the NCAA Division II North Central Regional
on Thursday. NKU, however, could not produce the big hit with runners
in scoring position and dropped a 2-0 decision to SIUE at the Grand
Valley State Baseball Field.
Playing from behind
the entire game, NKU appeared to have finally put itself in position
for a big inning during the bottom of the ninth. SIUE reliever Patrick
Keller started the inning by allowing a walk to Josh Moulton, and
Chris Nann followed with a single.
Keller was relieved
by Adam Schneider, who fielded a bunt attempt by pinch-hitter Brian
DeCarlo. Schneider’s throw was high and pulled first baseman
Nathan Doty off the bag for an error, loading the bases with no
by getting Jon Back to strike out on a 3-2 breaking ball for the
first out. He then struck out Kory Lonergan looking for the second
out, bringing Matt Jones to the plate.
Jones hit a grounder
up the middle that second baseman Michael DalPozzo fielded and flipped
to shortstop Cory Bunner to force DeCarlo for the final out. Schneider
picked up his eighth save of the season by working out of a bases-loaded
jam and retiring three straight batters without surrendering a run.
NKU (42-19-1) finished
0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, including 0-for-4 with
the bases loaded. The second-seeded Norse managed six hits and also
drew seven walks.
Patterson went 7 1/3 innings
SIUE (39-17-1) stranded
10 runners on base, but the fifth-seeded Cougars used a run-scoring
single by Jake Smith in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead off
NKU starter Paul David Patterson. Ryan Czyz and Bunner hit back-to-back
doubles in the fifth inning to give SIUE a 2-0 lead.
NKU threatened in the
bottom of the sixth by loading the bases with two out, but Moulton
grounded to third to end the rally.
SIUE starter Kyle Jones
- featured in this week’s “Faces in the Crowd”
section of Sports Illustrated after setting Division II national
records for consecutive scoreless innings pitched and shutouts -
went six scoreless innings and notched the win to improve to 11-1.
Earlier this season, Jones tossed a no-hitter against NKU at Florence,
Patterson (5-4) worked
7 1/3 innings on the mound and struck out four batters. Nann went
3-for-4 for NKU, which will meet No. 6 seed Rockhurst at 10 a.m.
Friday in an elimination game. Rockhurst lost its first-round game,
2-0, to Grand Valley State on Thursday.
In the other first-round
contest, Quincy posted a 5-3 victory over Ashland. The third-seeded
Hawks will meet SIUE on Friday, while Ashland plays Grand Valley
NKU is ranked No. 25
nationally in the Division II poll. The Norse won the Great Lakes
Valley Conference championship last week at Sauget, Ill.