A day after DeKalb couldn’t generate much offense in a loss to Sycamore, the Barbs’ entire team found a way to be productive at the plate.
The Barbs had 10 players get hits against Sycamore on Tuesday and the Barbs edged Sycamore, 10-9, in eight innings to even the three-game series at one game each. The Spartans had a runner on second in the bottom of the eighth inning, but lined into a double play to end the game.
“We played a team game, offensively,” DeKalb coach Jake Howells said. “For us, that has to be the way we win games.”
Ryan Metsker went 3 for 5 with two RBIs for the Barbs and also got the win, pitching two innings. Center fielder Danny Petras was 2 for 4 with a double for the Barbs (5-6, 1-1 Northern Illinois Big 12 East).
In Monday’s 8-1 loss, the Barbs couldn’t rally after falling behind, 7-0, in the second inning. But DeKalb was able to bounce back in its road game.
“At NIU, we really didn’t handle adversity well,” Howells said. “Guys started hanging their heads and looking for excuses. Today, we stayed on it all day.”
Eight runs was more than enough for Sycamore in the opening game at Northern Illinois University’s Ralph McKinzie Field when senior Scott Nelson held the Barbs’ offense in check. However, the Spartans fell to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in conference with Tuesday’s loss.
“Our pitching didn’t hold up at all. We gave up 16 hits,” Sycamore coach Jason Cavanaugh said. “We just struggled on the mound the whole day. Not only did we give up 16 hits, but we walked four and hit three [batters].”
Mitchell Jordan was 3 for 4 with three runs scored, and Alec Kozak finished 2 for 3 with a triple. Cooper Vinz was 2 for 4 for Sycamore.
The three-game series shifts to DeKalb on Thursday for the rubber match.