Northern quietly creeping up in GLVC

Don’t let a modest overall 18-19 record fool you.

The Norse have been taking care of business in the GLVC over the last week or two, and despite having a below-.500 overall record, find themselves out of first place by only one game heading into this week.

It was their difficult and away-laden non-conference schedule that has put more blemishes on Northern’s record than they may have anticipated.

This has created somewhat of a logjam at the top of the GLVC standings, as only one and a half games separate Northern, Bellarmine, Southern Indiana, SIU-Edwardsville and Drury.

The Norse still have plenty of time and plenty of opportunities to gain ground on Southern Indiana, which now find themselves sitting alone at the top of the GLVC. Bellarmine had been alone in first place at this time last week.

The Norse, who came home after splitting a double-header with Kentucky Wesleyan College this week, took both games from Quincy University after Friday’s game was postponed due to rain and unseasonably cold temperatures.

Pitching comes through at crucial times this weekend

NKU received two tremendous gifts in the form of quality starts. Matt Marksberry picked up his sixth win in as many decisions as he, Greg Pass, and Kevin Jordan combined to allow Quincy only two runs and seven hits.

The two-game sweep was valuable to the Norse, as it created separation between them and Quincy. Game one also proved that the Norse, whose bats went rather dormant, could win with only four hits.

It was the same old “song and dance” in game 2 of the series. The Norse pulled off a 1-0 win over Quincy, holding them to three hits, thanks in large part to Josh Burns’s brilliant outing. Burns nearly went the distance in Game 2, as he went eight innings while allowing only two hits and three walks. Josh Lueke pitched a scoreless ninth to make Burns’s start a victory.

The Norse needed only one hit to complete the series sweep. Brian DeCarlo was called off the bench to pinch-hit to break a scoreless tie, which drove in Matt Wagers for the game’s lone run.

Despite a rather quiet weekend from the bats, the arms picked up the slack for the Norse. Two quality starts got the Norse over the hump after they scored a handful of runs in two games.

Don’t let the Norse’s overall record fool you. This team has played a solid schedule and has been winning in the conference. A record of 18-19 doesn’t mean too much when they have been picking up the slack in conference. With about 15 games left and only one game behind first place, the Norse have a great opportunity to shock the GLVC.