Baseball: Northern Illinois Ties Series Up, Beats Ohio, 11-2

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Northern Illinois got their revenge against the Bobcats on Saturday after a 5-4 loss in the series opener, but it took both teams a while to get their offenses going in the 11-2 ballgame.

After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Bobcats came back strong, behind the solid pitching of Marck Paliotto. They scored a run in both the third and fourth innings by taking advantage of errors by the Huskies.

Kyle Dean started the bottom of the third with a single to left field and ultimately advanced to third following a sacrifice bunt by Nate Squires and a single by Ben Otto. Dean scored on an error by first baseman Jeff Zimmerman that allowed Cody Gaertner to reach first base safely. Ohio was unable to do any more harm, despite Nick Squires, who reached on a walk, advancing to third.

Northern Illinois had their ace on the mound Saturday in Eli Anderson (5-0). The righty went 8.0 innings, and it was his first time to not pitch a complete game against a MAC opponent. Anderson picked up the win, allowing no earned runs and striking out seven.

Paliotto went 5.1 innings, allowing just two earned runs on eight hits, and left the game with two runners on with one out in the sixth. Pitcher Logan Cozart relieved Paliotto, and struck out Brian Sisler to get the huge second out, but threw a wild pitch that allowed Landon Tenhagen to score and the Huskies to tie up the ball game at two in the sixth.

From there, it was all Huskies, as the Ohio offense never got hot again. In the final three innings, the Bobcats only got one hit, while Northern Illinois had nine hits and scored nine runs as well.

The Huskies had seven players cross home plate alone in the ninth, with the dagger coming on a bases clearing, 3-RBI Tanhagen triple to right center off of Ryan Ferrell. Ferrell only got one out in his appearance, allowing three hits and four earned runs.

Cozart picked up the loss, moving his record to 0-3 on the year. Ohio falls to 9-27 overall and 5-9 in the MAC. Northern Illinois and Ohio will play the rubber match Sunday at 1 p.m. at Bob Wren Stadium. The projected pitching matchup is Connor Sitz (1-5, 6.91 ERA) for Ohio and Alex Klonowski (3-4, 4.12 ERA) for Northern Illinois.