Feb. 24, 2013
| at Lipscomb
| Final Score
|| NU 11, LU 4
| Winning Pitcher
|| Luke Farrell, 1-0, 0.00 ERA
|| NU 4-2, LU 4-4
| Next NU Event
|| at Missouri (Columbia, Mo.), March 1, 6 p.m.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Starting pitcher Luke Farrell struck out a career-high 12 batters in six innings of work as he helped lead Northwestern over Lipscomb, 11-4, in the finale of the team's trip to Nashville, Tenn.
Farrell completely overpowered the Lipscomb lineup Sunday. The tall right-hander racked up a career-high 12 strikeouts, the most for any Northwestern hurler since J.A. Happ struck out 16 Iowa Hawkeyes in a seven-inning game on May 3, 2003. It's also the highest output of any Big Ten pitcher this season.
Northwestern got on the scoreboard in the first inning for the second time this season with a pair of early tallies. Trevor Stevens scooted a single up the middle and moved to third when Walker Moses clubbed a double to deep right field. Stevens and Moses scored on back-to-back RBI-groundouts by Zach Morton and Jack Havey off Lipscomb starting pitcher Will Blalock.
Farrell came out firing on the mound for NU. He struck out the first two Bisons hitters looking and following a walk and a single, fanned Taylor Stewart looking as well.
The top of the order set the wheels in motion once again to kick off the third inning. Stevens walked, Moses singled and both runners moved up 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt by Morton. Havey then drilled a base hit through the right side to plate Stevens and give Northwestern a 3-0 advantage.
On the mound, Farrell continued to silence Lipscomb's bats. He picked up two more strikeouts in the third inning to give himself six through three innings of play.
Lipscomb produced its first threat of the game when it loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Farrell navigated out of trouble using his seventh strikeout and a ground ball to Antonio Freschet at second base to end the inning.
By the end of the fifth inning, Farrell had passed his previous career high of eight strikeouts. The senior previously struck out eight on two occasions, most recently against Ohio State on April 1, 2011.
Farrell's workman-like afternoon was finished after six strong innings on the mound. He scattered three hits and other than the fourth-inning jam, was never really troubled. He earned his first win of the season for his effort.
The Wildcats batted around and plated five more runs in the top of the seventh inning to extend their lead to 8-0. Josh Perlmutter drove in the first run of his career with an RBI-single. Jake Straub also collected an RBI on a fielder's choice and pinch-runner Colby Everett scored on a bunt single by Freschet.
Stevens struck out, but reached safely on a wild pitch, which allowed Straub to score the fourth run of the inning. Freschet also scored the final run of the frame on a wild pitch from Lipscomb reliever J Hwang.
Perlmutter picked up two more RBI with his first triple in the eighth inning; he also scored on the play because of an errant relay throw. After seven and half, NU led the Bisons, 11-0.
Lipscomb scratched out its first run of the game in the eighth inning off reliever Reed Mason. The Bisons added three in the ninth on a bases-clearing double before Jack Quigley came on to slam the door.
With the win, Northwestern improves to 4-2 in 2013 after winning three of its four ball games in the Music City. The Wildcats were supposed to play in Kansas this weekend, but winter storm Q forced the cancellation of that set and sent NU to Tennessee at the 11th hour.
The Wildcats will continue their nonconference schedule next weekend with a three-game set at Missouri. The two teams have not met since Feb. 15, 2003 when Northwestern topped the Tigers, 5-3, in Phoenix, Ariz. Current NU assistant coach Jon Mikrut was a sophomore on that team and he collected an RBI and earned the save that day.
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