- The curse of the odd-numbered year caught up with the Northern
Kentucky University baseball program again Monday, and the 2007
result is especially painful for the Norse.
because NKU will miss out on a trip to the Great Lakes Valley Conference
Tournament and a chance to defend its league championship.
made sure of that Monday afternoon by sweeping a doubleheader from
NKU. The Greyhounds took a 2-1 decision in the opener on a walk-off,
inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the seventh inning, and
they completed the sweep by rallying from a 3-0 deficit in the nightcap
to storm past the Norse, 12-8.
The two losses
eliminated NKU (27-26 overall, 22-16 GLVC) from postseason contention
for the first time since 2003. Indianapolis, meanwhile, played itself
into the GLVC Tournament by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker
years (2002, ’04 and ’06), NKU has won GLVC titles and
advanced to the NCAA Division II Tournament. But in odd-numbered
years, (’03, ’05 and ’07) the Norse have been
unable to repeat their championships.
Twice they even
failed to make the GLVC Tournament in order to defend their crown,
and in 2001 NKU did not qualify for the NCAA Division II Tournament.
to be on the verge of clinching a spot in the GLVC Tournament during
the opener behind the strong pitching of right-hander Nathan Jones.
The junior from Pendleton County High School took a no-hitter into
the sixth inning and NKU held a 1-0 lead.
however, broke up both the no-hitter and shutout by hammering a
Jones delivery over the left-center field fence to even the score
that way until the bottom of the seventh, when pinch-hitter Cliff
Eiland sent a drive over Jim Volpe’s head that went all the
way to the wall. Eiland circled the bases and survived a collision
at the plate with NKU catcher Larry Pempek for an inside-the-park
home run and a 2-1 Indianapolis victory.
back in the second game for a quick 1-0 lead on Jon Back’s
homer to begin the contest. The Norse added two more runs to take
a 3-0 advantage after a half inning.
rallied, however, and tied the game at 3-all in the third inning.
The Greyhounds took the lead for good in the fourth by plating three
runs, and they eventually built a 12-5 cushion before setting for
a 12-8 victory.
NKU again with a three-run homer and a total of five RBI. Evan McDole
and Kevin Dusold each drove in two runs for NKU, while Back went
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