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    Wildcats Down Golden Flashes, 8-3

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Doug Beatty drove in two in NU's 8-3 win over Kent State.
    Doug Beatty drove in two in NU's 8-3 win over Kent State.

    Feb. 21, 2004

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    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Northwestern upped its season record to 2-3 with an 8-3 win over Kent State at Isotopes Field in Albuquerque, N.M., in the second day of the Ultimate Dugout Baseball Fiesta. Quality pitching by starter J.A. Happ and reliever Chris Hayes shut down the KSU offense that scored 15 runs in its opening round game vs. New Mexico.

    Coming off its most lopsided loss of the season, Northwestern rebounded with eight runs on 12 hits as three different Wildcats recorded multiple RBI.

    The Wildcats opened the scoring, jumping on Golden Flashes starter Justin Laraway for three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Senior Jason Krynski led off the inning with a sharp single through the right side and advanced to second on Anthony Wycklendt's ground out. Dan Pohlman reached on a throwing error by KSU's third baseman, leaving runners at first and second with one out. Following a strikeout, Doug Beatty rolled one through the right side, scoring Krynski from second and advancing Pohlman to third. Beatty quickly stole second as both runners came around to score when freshman Ryan Myers tattooed a pitch to the right center field wall. Myers tried to score on an errant throw from the outfield but was cut down at the plate, ending the inning.



    NU jumped out to a 6-0 lead, adding three more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Mark Ori hit a one-out double down the right field line to get things started. Beatty earned a base-on-balls and pinch-hitter Mike Phelps was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Caleb Fields followed with a line-drive single to centerfield, scoring two runs. It was Fields fourth and fifth RBI of the season. Josh Lieberman hit a groundball to third base, but trying to turn a double play, the Kent State second baseman threw it away. Phelps scored on the play.

    Kent State didn't stay down long, scoring three runs on its own in the top of the seventh inning, chasing Wildcat starter Happ. Happ pitched six and two-third innings, striking out a season high seven. He dominated the first six innings, inducing nine groundball outs to go along with his seven Ks. Happ earned the win, giving him a 1-0 record in two starts.

    Hayes relieved Happ, striking out the final out of the seventh inning. Hayes went on to finish the game, pitching two and one-third innings of one-hit baseball.

    NU added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning as Krynski hit a bases-loaded single over the second baseman's head to score two. Freshman George Kontos hit a one-out pinch-hit single to right and advanced to second on Fields' single to right. Lieberman executed a hit-and-run, moving both runners up 90-feet. Mikrut walked to load the bases, setting up Krynski's single. It was Kontos' first collegiate at-bat.

    Offensively, Krynski, Myers and Fields all drove in two as seven different Wildcats hit safely in the game. Krynski led the team with a 3-for-5 day as Beatty, Fields and Jon Mikrut each had two hits.

    NU takes on host New Mexico at 10:30 a.m. (CST) Sunday in the final game of the tournament.