Feb. 10, 2007
LUBBOCK, Texas -
Northwestern battled back from a 9-3 deficit to pull within one at 9-8, only to lose 13-9 to Western Illinois Saturday afternoon at Dan Law Field in Lubbock, Texas. The Wildcats out-hit the Leathernecks 15-14, but failed to get the big hit down by one and the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning. WIU scored four runs in the top of the ninth to seal the victory. The loss drops NU to 1-1 on the year.
Because of the cold weather in the Lubbock area (35 degrees) and no relief in site, game officials canceled the second game of Saturday's doubleheader. NU will play a single, nine-inning contest against host Texas Tech tomorrow at 11 a.m. The originally scheduled Sunday game versus Western Illinois has been canceled.
NU picked up right where they left off Friday's contest, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Center fielder Caleb Fields (Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick) lined a two-out single to center and quickly moved to third on right fielder Antonio Mule's (Lodi, N.J./Lodi) single to right field. After a passed ball scored Fields from third, catcher Tony Vercelli (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) laced a double down the left field line. Mule scored on Vercelli's hit.
The Wildcats tacked on another run, this time off the bat of left fielder Max Mann (Los Angeles, Calif./Brentwood). After Vercelli singled and first baseman Jake Goebbert (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) doubled, Mann singled home Vercelli. On the same play, Goebbert was thrown out at home plate trying to score from second.
Freshman starter Cole Livermore (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) lived on the edge through the first four innings, stranding six runners, but did allow a run until the fifth.
In the fifth inning, a pair of Wildcat errors helped Western score three runs (one earned) to tie the game at 3-3. In his first collegiate game, Livermore pitched five complete innings, struck out five and walked four in the no decision.
Sophomore Eric Binder (Burr Ridge, Ill./Hinsdale Central) took over on the mound and lasted just one-third of an inning. He gave up five runs on four hits and a walk.
Still in the sixth, freshman Jonathan Purcell (Oceanside, Calif./Vista) relieved Binder and pitched two and two-third innings. He kept the Leathernecks at bay, allowing NU to mount a comeback. When Purcell left the game at the end of the eighth inning the score was 9-8 in favor of WIU.
The Wildcat offense scored a total of five runs in the seventh and eighth innings, but a pair of strikeouts in the bottom of the eighth ended the Wildcat threat. There were runners on second and third.
Junior Bo Schultz (Dallas, Texas/Highland Park) started the ninth and pitched two-thirds of an inning before giving way to Fields. With an inherited runner on second base, Fields gave up four hits and a total of four runs.
NU scored one run in the bottom of the ninth on an errant throw to first base on an infield single by Goebbert. Goebbert was 3-for-5 with a run scored.
Offensively, Mule was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and Vercelli was 2-for-5 with an RBI.