Feb. 24, 2006
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Pat McMahon hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning to give Northwestern a 5-4 game two victory over Louisville at Jim Patterson Field in Louisville, Ky. The win upped NU's record to 3-4 on the year. The two teams play the three-game series finale tomorrow at 1 p.m. (ET)
In the top of the ninth inning, third baseman Caleb Fields (Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick) led off with a single up the middle. Center fielder Aaron Newman (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) followed with a single to center. Following a Louisville pitching change, a botched sacrifice attempt forced Fields out at third, leaving runners on first and second with one out. Both runners advanced on a passed ball. Catcher Pat McMahon (Mundelein, Ill./Carmel) followed with a towering sacrifice fly to deep right field, scoring Newman from third and giving NU a 5-4 lead.
Junior Andrew Smith (Fort Mitchell, Ky./Beechwood), who relieved starter Dan Brauer (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton-Warrenville South) to start the eighth inning, got the first two outs of the ninth, before a hit batsman and single chased him from the game. Left-hander Dan Schwartz (New York, N.Y./Northern Valley Regional) induced a ground ball to end the game and pick up his second save of the season. Smith (2-0) got the win.
Louisville jumped out to an early lead, plating a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning. Two singles and a double were aided by a Wildcat error. Only one of the two runs was earned.
NU answered with a single run in the top of the third inning as McMahon laced a two-out double to right centerfield. Fields scored on the play after singling to lead off the inning.
Northwestern took its first lead of the game in the top of the sixth inning, scoring two runs on two hits and taking advantage of a Cardinal error. Second baseman Jake Owens (Stevens Point, Wis./Pacelli) led off the inning with a single to right and moved to second when McMahon lined a single to center. Owens broke for third on a pitch in the dirt and advanced home when the throw from the catcher went into left field. McMahon moved to second on the play.
Still in the sixth inning, right fielder Antonio Mule (Lodi, N.J./Lodi) drew a base-on-balls and moved to second on Stanley Finch's (Lubbock, Texas) sacrifice bunt. With runners on second and third with one out, catcher Geoff Dietz (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich) hit a fielder's choice to the right side, scoring McMahon from third. Another walk and fly out ended the inning.
The lead was short-lived as the U-of-L first baseman hit a two-out, two-run home run down the right field line. A leadoff single scored on the hit.
Left fielder Anthony Wycklendt (Glendale, Wis./Nicolet) tied the game 4-4 in the top of the eighth inning, tattooing a triple to the right field wall. Mule scored from first on the play.
Brauer pitched seven complete innings, striking out five. He gave up four runs (three earned) in his longest outing of 2006. In three starts this season, Brauer has thrown 17.0 innings and struck out 20. He has a 2.12 ERA.
Dan Brauer action photo compliments of Louisville Sports Information.