Huskies score three in bottom
of ninth to eliminate Cards
By Phil Stanton
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
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
Hood finished with two hits and two RBI for the
Huskies. Vitek had two hits and knocked in a pair for the
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.