May 24, 2008


Huskies score three in bottom of ninth to eliminate Cards


By Phil Stanton Co-Founder


CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – It took 10 games to get a winning rally in the bottom of the ninth.


The higher seeds won each of the first eight games in the 2008 Mid-American Conference Tournament at VA Memorial Stadium, so the contests all ended after the top of the ninth. Bowling Green got a pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings in the day’s first game, but Ohio scored four in the 13th to claim the win.


Fourth-seeded Northern Illinois scored three in the bottom of the ninth to claim a dramatic 6-5 win over No. 5 Ball State Friday in an elimination game.


Trailing 5-3, Anthony Maziur started the inning by hitting a hard grounder that the first baseman could not handle. After a popout, Bobby Stevens singled to left to put the tying run on base. Jordin Hood crushed a double high off the wall in right center to bring in Maziur and Stevens to knot it at 5-5. Hood moved to third on a groundout. After an intentional walk to Dave Reynolds, Danny Reed send a single through the left side to plate Hood with the game-winner for the Huskies (29-24).


The Cardinals (27-26) had taken a 5-3 lead with a pair in the eighth. Nate Fields hit a one-out homer to snap a 3-3 tie. T.J. Baumet reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored on a base hit by Dean Anna to give BSU a two-run advantage.


Ball State broke a scoreless tie on a two-run homer by Kolbrin Vitek in the top of the fourth, his fifth. NIU answered with two in the bottom of the frame on an RBI double by Matt Behren and a run-scoring single by Joe Buonavolanto.


The Cardinals took a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth. Anna drew a two-out walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third when Wayne Bond struck out, but reached on a passed ball. On the third pitch to Kory Benbow, Bond broke for second and got caught in a rundown long enough to allow Anna to come home. The Huskies again answered as Reynolds led off the bottom of the sixth with his seventh home run to even the score at 3-3.


Hood finished with two hits and two RBI for the Huskies. Vitek had two hits and knocked in a pair for the Cardinals.


NIU will face top-seeded Kent State in the day’s final game. The Huskies must beat the Golden Flashes twice to reach the MAC Championship Game.