By Matt Scheerer on August 19, 2013 5:09 PM
Photo by @NWLBaseball (Northwoods Baseball League Twitter)
It started with a Mid-American Conference West Division Championship last spring. Now, members of the Northern Illinois baseball team have found success on their summer baseball teams in the Northwoods League.
Relief pitchers Anthony Andres and Ben Neumann both played their collegiate summer baseball in the Northwoods League and in the state of Wisconsin as Andres played for the Eau Claire Express and Neumann with his hometown Madison Mallards.
Andres, who finished his the 2013 campaign at NIU with a 3.86 earned run average in 30.1 innings of relief for the Huskies. The senior to be made his Northwoods League debut on June 28 at Wisconsin Rapids and surrendered a home run in his first pitch, followed by three more runs and five hits in 0.2 innings of work. Andres would follow with 26-straight scoreless innings of baseball for the Express. To read more on Andres' impressive run, click here.
Neumann, a junior from Verona, Wis., was one of the Mallards most-consistent pitchers in 2013 as he made 20 appearances in relief with 36.2 innings of work. He finished the year with a 1.96 ERA, a 3-2 record, 27 strikeouts and 10 walks. While statistically Neumann's season was a success, his team followed that same path of success as it won its first Northwoods League World Series since 2004 as it defeated the Dulth Huskies 2-0 in the best of three series. To read more about the Madison Mallards win, click here.
Both players return to Northern Illinois for its 2014 campaign, set to begin mid-February.
By Matt Scheerer on June 27, 2013 11:25 AM
Anyone who follows Northern Illinois baseball closely knows that Jeff Zimmerman was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 19th round earlier this month. Zimmerman signed a professional contract with the Mariners June 13, five days after he was drafted, and was assigned to their Rookie affiliate in the Appalachian League, the Pulaski Mariners after workouts with extended spring training camp players.
Through five games, Zimmerman is second on the team in batting average amongst players with 15-or-more at bats this season at .300 and leads the squad in RBI (5), runs (5) and home runs (2). He also has 12 total bases this season, the second-most on the team.
Zimmerman made his professional debut June 21st at the Burlington Royals, starting at first base and batting in the seven hole. Though he did not record a hit in his three at-bats, his glove made a difference in the game as he helped turn two double plays to aid in the starting pitching performance of 16-year old Brazilian Luiz Gohara, also making his professional debut (4 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K).
Two nights later, the NIU product recorded his first career hit and scored the first run of his career in the Mariners home-opener against the Bluefield Bluejays. Zimmerman finished 2-for-5 with a run to his credit. In the series finale June 25, he again recorded two hits and run, this time finishing 2-for-4 and driving in his first career run, a two out RBI single.
Last night against the Danville Braves however, Zimmerman had the biggest night of his professional career. While he finished the game 2-for-5 again, he smashed two home runs with four RBI and three runs, including a three-run homer to right centerfield in the eighth inning with two outs to lead a comeback for Pulaski over Danville, 12-6. Teammate Luke Guarnaccia hit a first pitch grand slam to score Zimmerman in the seventh.
Only seven games into the season, the Mariners are 3-4 and will have their first day off of the season July 2. Game two of the series with Danville will begin tonight at 7 p.m. All home games and select road games can be followed on here.
Follow Zimmerman's progress this season on PulaskiMariners.com. Fans can also follow the team on Facebook by liking "Pulaski Mariners" and on Twitter @PulaskiMariner.
By Zach Peters on June 28, 2012 3:51 PM
Since the news has broke about college football's new four-team playoff format, there have been a surplus of reactions, especially involving NIU and the Mid-American Conference since NIU President Dr. John Peters was part of a committee of university presidents that approved the BCS commissioners' plan for a four-team playoff to start in the 2014 season.
Here is an article from The Plain Dealer with information about how the change could affect the MAC and has reactions from MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher and NIU President Dr. Peters.
Here's the Daily Chronicle's John Sahly's viewpoint on how college football is making progress and how it relates to the MAC and other conferences throughout the country.
By Zach Peters on June 28, 2012 3:43 PM
Long-time NIU women's golf head coach Pam Tyska announced her retirement earlier this year after serving post for an incredible 26 years. As the farewells and congratulatory notes keep surfacing, here's one from Education School Chronicles. Coach Tyska will be missed!
By Zach Peters on March 22, 2012 2:43 PM
You can see why NIU women's basketball Head Coach Kathi Bennett was interested in Howards Grove's (Wis.) guard Alexis Lindstrom. Bennett preaches defense and her trademark "pack" philosophy. Lindstrom was just named Wisconsin Sports Network's top senior Defensive player. Sounds like a great fit!
By Zach Peters on February 8, 2012 2:16 PM
It's not too often that your top two scorers are freshmen. That's the case for the 2011-12 NIU women's basketball team as rookies Amanda Corral (9.5 PPG) and Claire Jakubicek (10.9 PPG) pace the Huskie scoring attack. For second-year Head Coach Kathi Bennett and the Huskies, this odd fact bodes well for the future of the program, as highlighted by today's article in the Northern Star by Eli Gehn.
By Zach Peters on February 6, 2012 3:13 PM
If you were at the NIU-Ohio women's basketball game on Saturday, you may have noticed the surplus in kids both on and off the court. That's because it was Kids Day at the Convo. The annual event gave any of the kids in attendance an inside look at an NIU basketball game as they served as reporters, team managers, event staff, etc. While they had a great time during a 50-46 NIU victory, two kid reporters put the day into words in their recap stories below.
The first comes to us from Evelyn Adams: DeKALB, Ill. -Huskies beat Bobcats 50 to 46.The Huskies led throughout the game, but ran into a little bit of trouble towards the end.They also ran into foul trouble early on.Overall, the Huskies played a very nice game.Northern Illinois fought hard and defeated Ohio.GO NIU.Another Huskies victory.
The second comes to us from Erik Books:
DeKALB, Ill. - Huskies won 50-46! Wow, did you see Kim Davis take that hit in the first period? The Huskies were making baskets all over the place! After the game I got to sit down with Kathi Bennettand she talked about how the game went along. During the game I saw some roughness out on the court. When I was in media room I heard the Huskies screaming very, very loud in the locker room because they won. I also talked to Semeka Randall and she said her big shooters did not step up and play. She also looked very sad. She went a lot faster than Kathi Bennett did. Out on the court I think there were more fouls than usual this time. I personally think the Huskies played great today. If there are any Ohio fans out there reading this theyare most likely to be unhappy. The game was similar to my game Saturday morning, except there was less diving for the ball and less stealing in the Huskies game. Today my favorite player was Kim Davis because she worked her butt off getting the ball in the hoop!
Thanks for the submissions and great work, Evelyn and Erik!
By Zach Peters on November 1, 2011 4:12 PM
With a huge weekend ahead, the Huskies are on the American Volleyball Coaches Association's (AVCA) map. In the AVCA's weekly blog, Saturday's 7 PM CT NIU-Ball State contest at Victor E. Court is mentioned as one of the key national match-ups of the week. Ball State stands just one game ahead of NIU for first place in the MAC West Division and the Huskies are looking to avenge a five-set loss in Muncie, Ind., on Sept. 30, which is also the last time that NIU dropped a match. Since then, the Huskies have reeled off nine straight wins and have stayed ahead of the Cardinals in the RPI rankings. NIU leads the MAC with a No. 20 ranking, while BSU stands 33rd. With their last two MAC home matches this weekend, the Huskies could grab a share of first place in the West and overall in the MAC with wins Friday against Toledo and Saturday over the Cardinals.
By Zach Peters on October 26, 2011 10:07 AM
If you missed yesterday's NIU Basketball Media Day or are looking for more coverage, we have you covered. Let's start with the transcript of the press conference -- click here. After the press conference, the following articles were written from one-on-one interviews:
By Zach Peters on September 27, 2011 5:54 PM
Continuing to bring its motto to life, NIU Intercollegiate Athletics has taken its "Developing Champions" attitude even further with the implementation of a Themed Learning Community (TLC). This year, 25 select freshman student-athletes from nearly every Huskie athletic program are participating a TLC named "Developing Champions: In the classroom, in competition and in life." The focus of the group is on leadership and social justice. For more information about the TLC, click here to ready today's article from NIU Today.
By Zach Peters on August 10, 2011 7:33 PM
The Huskie women's soccer program began the 2011 season with two practices today, focusing on fitness testing in the morning and scrimmaging in the afternoon. Seniors Meaghan Bennett and Kelsey Passaglia give their thoughts on today's effort.
The team also took individual and team photos today. In my short time with the NIU women's soccer team, I can say with full confidence that Passaglia is a ham for the camera. The 1:08 mark in the video might prove that theory as well.
By Donna Turner on April 4, 2011 10:47 AM
Northern Illinois' sixth spring practice of 2011 on Saturday, April 2 at Huskie Stadium saw continued improvement by the Huskie offense with fewer stops overall and fewer big plays by the defense, although the defense continued to perform well in the final "Move the Ball" periods of practice.
For the second practice this year, NIU had referees on the field and with the team having been in pads for the fourth straight day, the intensity was once again upped a notch.
"It was fun to see guys finish plays," said NIU Head Coach Dave Doeren. "I wanted to see the runners have to run through contact, the defense to make stops, and the receivers make guys miss. I'm anxious to see the film."
The Northern Illinois offense, under the direction of quarterbacks Chandler Harnish and Jordan Lynch, seemed to get the best of the defense early in the situational down and distance drills. The offensive line and tight ends opened lanes, and running backs Jamal Womble, Jas Hopkins, Akeem Daniels and Leighton Settle took full advantage.
"It is getting slower for the offense," Doeren said. "The tempo has slowed down. I think their attention to situation is a lot more developed. Chandler is confident right now and they understand our goals on first down, on second down, in the red zone. Jas had a good day. I was excited to see the running backs do some things after the catch. It's fun watching all these guys compete."
With several veteran defensive linemen on the sidelines due to injuries Saturday (nearly all should return prior to the end of spring), a host of young defensive linemen, including recently converted former offensive linemen Tyler Pitt, Matt Battaglia and Kyle Jenkins (who moved back to defense, his original position at NIU), got extensive reps. That experience will only make the Huskies stronger, said Doeren.
"It's huge anytime you can build depth," Doeren said. "That allows you to rotate a lot of guys when some of those players come back. In the long run, it is going to help our team."
Doeren said one of his favorite plays of the day was a Rashaan Melvin blocked PAT following an offensive score.
"I loved to see that blocked extra point by Melvin," he said. "I was fired up about that."
The end of practice featured a field goal kicking competition between kickers Mat Sims and Ryan Fillingim with the losing kicker's "team" forced to do up-downs. In the end Fillingim - kicking for the reserves - made the last kick after a lengthy session back-and-forth, despite the best efforts of the starters to distract him.
Practice Notes: The sun shone brightly throughout Saturday's session but a strong wind kept NIU's end zone lift and operator grounded for the first time this spring... Huskie mascot Diesel and his owner, Tom Bonnevier, were on the sidelines... Diesel took several practice laps in the end zone as he went through his own version of "spring drills"... Former Huskies Jake Coffman, D.J. Pirkle and Cory Hanson watched a good portion of practice from the sidelines.
By Zach Peters on February 15, 2011 9:41 AM
Pitchers and catchers reported for Major League Baseball's 2011 season on Sunday and Monday. But entire college baseball teams, the Huskies included, reported a long time ago to prepare for the 2011 campaign. NIU throws the first pitch of the year Friday against Southern Utah in Cedar City, Utah. Stay tuned to NIUHuskies.com this week for the release of the 2011 iGuide, season outlook and preview of the Southern Utah three-game weekend series. The 2011 baseball season is underway this week!
By Megan Wallace on January 5, 2011 12:13 PM
For all of you Huskie fans looking to catch a little mid-week basketball action, the Northern Illinois women's basketball team will kick-off its Mid-American Conference schedule tonight, as the Huskies host Eastern Michigan at the Convocation Center. The Huskies' MAC opener is schedule for a 7 p.m. tip-off, so make sure you don't miss out on any of Huskie basketball action and purchase your tickets by clicking here.
For those who aren't able make it out to the game tonight, you can track
the Huskies by following LIVE STATS or WATCH the game live via Huskie
On the men's side, the Huskies will open MAC action Saturday when NIU hosts Ball State at 3 p.m. in DeKalb. Tickets for the Saturday's contest are available here, or you can track the Huskies here: Live Stats | Watch
Youth upper bowl tickets to both games cost just $1, and admission for students who wish to come out and show their Huskie Pride is free with a valid NIU student ID.