DII drops series to NIU

DII suffered a tough series loss at the hands of Northern Illinois University, dropping the first and last games of the series.

NIU 7, UW DII 2

The Badgers took an early lead but could not overcome a big fifth inning from the Huskies.

Sophomore center fielder Chris Trafton scored the first run of the contest for Wisconsin after being hit by a pitch to lead off the second. He then stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on another wild pitch.

NIU took the lead in the fourth, scoring two runs on a two-out single. The Huskies then put up three more runs in the fifth to extend their lead to 5-1.

The Badgers responded by stringing together a few hits in the fifth, including an RBI single from junior second baseman Jack Zoeller. Wisconsin loaded the bases but could not push across another run.

NIU tacked on two more in the sixth to put the game out of reach.

UW DII 11, NIU 1

The Badgers came out hot in the second game, pounding out eight hits in the first inning to put up nine runs.

Zoeller had two hits in the first inning, including an RBI double. Seven different Badgers collected hits in the inning. Trafton and senior first baseman Sam Calmes delivered RBI doubles. Junior right fielder Vinson Mulvey had two RBIs in the inning.

No runs were scored again until the top of the fifth inning. Sophomore  Alec Nelson was masterful on the hill, pitching four innings and giving up zero hits. He also struck out six Huskie batters.

Wisconsin won the game in the fifth inning after freshman first baseman Jordan Gerothanas drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to put the Badgers up ten runs. 

NIU 7, UW DII 6

The Badgers fell to the Huskies in a heartbreaker Sunday, allowing four runs in the top of the seventh.

The game was a 0-0 pitchers duel until the Badgers took the lead in their half of the fourth. Wisconsin loaded the bases and scored two runs on ground balls to the shortstop, courtesy of junior outfielder Tony DeBartolo and Trafton.

Junior Andrew Wolfe was stellar on the mound, making just one mistake on the afternoon. With two outs in the top of the sixth, NIU catcher Teele hit a three-run homer to left to give the Huskies a 3-2 lead.

The Badgers responded with force though, putting up a four spot in the bottom of the sixth. Mulvey ripped a single up the middle to start the inning. DeBartolo followed with a double to off the wall to center that scored senior pinch runner Alex Kueck from first.

After loading the bases, freshman outfielder Jacob Budnik took a pitch to his back to score the go-ahead run. Zoeller, who was 4-for-4 on the day, then drove in two runs with a two-out single to left.

Wisconsin’s 6-3 lead would not be enough though. Teele again killed the Badgers, delivering a two-out two-RBI double to give NIU a 7-6 lead.

Wisconsin was unable push across the tying run in the final frame.

The series loss puts the Badgers in a tough spot in the conference, as they will need Bradley to take two from Winona State to advance to the playoffs. Wisconsin will do what they can though, as they take on UW-Steven’s Point at home this weekend. Come out and support Wisconsin in the final home series of the year. They play at 12 and 2 p.m. at Murphy Field in Waunakee and then at 11:30 a.m. at Warner Park on Sunday.