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The Eastern Echo Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

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Eastern Michigan baseball falls in 11-inning thriller to Northern Illinois, 15-14

Kleiman homered in back-to-back games for the first time as an Eagle, setting a career-high with four runs scored

In a high-scoring extra-innings contest on May 17 at Ralph McKinzie Field, the Eastern Michigan University baseball team was narrowly defeated by Northern Illinois University in a series game, 15-14, in 11 innings.

Brendan Kleiman (Olney, Maryland/Sherwood/Frederick C.C.) led the Eagles with an impressive performance, homering for the second consecutive game for the first time in his Division I career. Kleiman also collected three hits, drove in three runs, and set a career-high with four runs scored.

Kleiman extended his hitting streak to five games and his RBI streak to three games. His four runs scored set a Division I career-high and matched the highest individual run total by an Eagle this season, making him the fourth EMU player to score four runs in a single game.

EMU fell behind 1-0 in the second inning before rallying with three runs, sparked by a series of hit-by pitches and a Drew Jones (Cleveland, Ohio/Brush/Ohio State) infield single. The Huskies tied the game at three, but the Eagles reclaimed the lead in the third inning, scoring three runs highlighted by Kyle Schroedle's (Redding, California/University Prep/Crown College) two-out RBI double.

The Eagles extended their lead to 8-3 in the fourth inning with Kleiman's two-run homer to left, his third of the season and second in as many games. However, NIU fought back to even the score. Trailing 10-8 in the seventh inning, the Eagles surged ahead with six runs, four of which came on singles, to lead 14-10.

Kleiman hit a home run for the second consecutive game, finishing 3-for-4 with three RBI. This marked his fourth three-hit game and third three-RBI game of the season.

NIU quickly answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning, tying the game. The contest remained locked in a defensive battle until NIU scored the winning run in the bottom of the 11th.

Up next, the Eagles and Huskies will play the second game of the three-game set on May 17. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. CT (3 p.m. ET).