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MX News Update 2024

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Huskies beat St. Thomas 15-14 after Parker Shupe’s winning goal

DeKALB, IL – Senior Parker Shupe (Johnston, Iowa/Kirkwood CC) hit a game-winning pinch-hit two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning on Wednesday afternoon to give the Northern Illinois University baseball team a 15-14 victory over the St. Thomas Tommies at Ralph McKinzie Veld in Walt and Janice Owens Park.

NIU (17-31) trailed 14-13 entering the ninth. Sam Pederson (Verona, Wis./McHenry CC) came out of the NIU bullpen and held the Tommies scoreless with two strikeouts while leaving two runners on base.

“Getting the out in the top of the ninth was big,” the head coach said Ryan Copeland. “Sam has been our best guy out of the pen for a while. He participated enough today without allowing an extra run and that changed the dynamic of the inning.”

Colin Summerhill (Chicago, Illinois/Troy) and CJ Cepicky (St. Louis, Mo./Missouri) both walked St. Thomas reliever Carl Cano to start the bottom of the ninth. Charlie Parcell (Des Plaines, Ill./Maine West) put the runners in scoring position with a sacrifice bunt back to Cano. Parker Shupe then entered the batter’s box for a pinch-hit Cooper Cohn (McHenry, Ill./McHenry). After fouling the first two pitchers, Shupe ripped a single over the first baseman and down the right field line, driving in the two runs and giving NIU the 15-14 win.

“The last few months I’ve been coming off the bench in situations like this,” Shupe said. “You always have to stay ready, and once your name is called in the later innings, you have to be ready to go. The pitcher threw me a good pitch to hit and it worked out in the end.”

“We found a way to win,” Copeland said. “Parker has had some really good at-bats, but a lot of bad luck. He earned a chance in that spot and delivered a big hit. It’s a really good moment for him.”

The Huskies batted around in the first inning with a three-run double from the at-bat Jake Nelson (Altoona, Wis./Madison College) to cap off a five-run opening frame. St. Thomas answered with five runs in the top of the second inning, then three in the third on a three-run home run by Joe Vos that gave the Tommies an 8-5 lead.

NIU took the lead back in loud fashion in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out and the bases loaded, Summerhill launched a grand slam over the left centerfield fence for his 19e home run of the year and a 9-8 Huskies lead.

St. Thomas (18-22) took the lead back in the top of the seventh, scoring four runs, while a run-scoring double by Sean Marlow with two outs gave the Tommies a 12-9 lead. NIU answered with a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning. Of Mason Kelley (Mt. Washington, Ky./Schoolcraft College) on second base on a leadoff double, André Demetral (Rochester, Mich./Florence Darling Tech) drove in Kelley with a single up the middle to make it 12-10. After walks to Summerhill and Cepicky, Parcell cleared the bases with a three-run double down the left field line, putting NIU back within 13-12.

Parcell and Summerhill each drove four runs that day. Summerhill went 1-for-3 with four runs scored and three walks. Cepicky was 2-fo-2 with three runs scored and four walks, tying a single-game NIU record last set by Parcell on April 27 against Central Michigan. Demetral went 3-for-5 with three runs scored, both tied for a career high, and also turned an unassisted double play.

“You always try to get better as the season goes on,” Copeland said. “Despite the stat numbers, it feels like we have an opportunity to be quite dangerous offensively, especially lately as the weather warms up. Our lineup is confident right now. Our guys believe in themselves.”

The Huskies will play their final road series of the season this weekend at Western Michigan, starting Friday, May 10 at 2:00 PM CT.

–NIU–