The combo of Adam Reuss and Brandon Parr hurled a four-hit shutout, as Milwaukee baseball team defeated Northern Illinois 2-0 Tuesday afternoon in DeKalb.
Reuss began the stellar pitching effort by lasting the first six stanzas, allowing only four hits while striking out five. Parr came on in relief to finish the job with a masterful three innings by blanking the Huskies in the hit column, while striking out four. He would also ring up the final batter looking with the tying runs on base.
Milwaukee Head Coach Scott Doffek highlighted Reuss’ resilience as a reason for success.
“It starts with Adam Reuss,” said Doffek. “He did a great job. He’s been struggling a bit early in the season, but he’s a very good pitcher and we know it. It was good to see him get going a little bit.”
The game did not feature any scoring until Daulton Varsho stepped up to the plate in the sixth inning. The junior catcher beat out a double-play ball that was slated to end the frame. He then stole second base and scampered around the basepaths when the throw went into center field, granting the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
“If they execute there, they probably get him out,” said Doffek. “But speed and pressure create havoc and that’s exactly what he did. That’s what he does on the bases. They weren’t able to execute a throw and I’m not sure I have ever sen anyone score like that, but I am glad he did.
The Panthers would gain an insurance run in the eighth inning. After Chris Kelly led off with a triple, Jeremy Wright brought him home with a single.
Reuss (1-3) was not rattled, despite many high-leveraged situations. With two on and one out in the fourth, he produced a ground ball followed by a flyout to get out of trouble. After NIU strung together consecutive singles to open the bottom half of the fifth, Reuss was able to escape with a strikeout, groundout and then another strikeout.
“All credit goes to Reuss and Parr,” said Doffek. “They made big pitches when they had to.”
The Panthers will return to Illinois this weekend as they head to Peoria to battle Bradley in a three-game series. The opener is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPN3.