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    Wildcats Split Twinbill at Snowbird Classic

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Kyle Ruchim took the bump and collected his second save of the season against Xavier.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Kyle Ruchim took the bump and collected his second save of the season against Xavier.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Game One Box Score
    Game Two Box Score

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    Box Score

    Port Charlotte, Fla. (South County Regional)
    Game One Score: Northwestern 3, Xavier 2
    Game Two Score: Villanova 6, Northwestern 3
    Records: NU (2-7, 0-0 Big Ten), Xavier (1-7, 0-0 Atlantic 10), Villanova (5-3, 0-0 BIG EAST)
    Next NU Event: Sunday, March 4 -- vs. Chicago State (Port Charlotte, Fla.), 10 a.m. CST

    PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla.-- Northwestern split a pair of contests on the second day of the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla. The Wildcats took down Xavier in the first contest, 3-2, before falling to Villanova in the nightcap, 6-3.

    Game One vs. Xavier:

    The Wildcats (2-7) scored early Saturday and they scored late as pinch runner Jack Quigley crossed the dish in the top of the ninth inning for what held up to be the game-winning tally in a 3-2 triumph over Xavier.

    With the game tied at two, Northwestern catcher Jake Straub started the frame with a base hit, his third of the game. Head coach Paul Stevens tapped Quigley to pinch run and he moved to second on a sacrifice bunt off the bat of shortstop Patrick Miller. As Luke Dauch was at the plate, Xavier hurler Alex Vice attempted to pick Quigley off at second base, but his attempt was errant. The Wildcat speedster then came around to score on an error by the centerfielder.

    Xavier threatened mightily in the bottom of the inning. NU's Paul Snieder came on in relief of Michael Jahns and struck out Jacob Bodner to begin the stanza. After allowing a single to the next batter, Stevens tapped Kyle Ruchim to come to the mound and nail down the win for the 'Cats.


     

     

    The runner at first, Xavier leadoff man Patrick Paligraf, tried to swipe second, but he was thrown out in fine fashion by Northwestern's new backstop, Geoff Rowan. Ruchim then got Daniel Rod to go down swinging to end the contest.

    Zach Morton and Jack Havey each picked up an RBI for the 'Cats.

    Francis Brooke got the start for the Wildcats and he was sharp through his six innings of work. Brooke scattered seven hits and gave up two runs, though both tallies were unearned. He also struck out six, while walking only one Muskateer.

    Jahns worked two innings in picking up his first victory of the young season. He allowed three hits and struck out three of the nine batters he faced.

    The win brought Stevens closer to another milestone. Saturday's triumph over Xavier was the 599th in the illustrious career of the longtime bench boss.

    Game Two vs. Villanova

    Each playing their second contest of the day under the Florida sun, the Wildcats and Villanova battled in a scoreless affair for the first three frames. A pair of multi-run innings in the middle of the game ultimately propelled Villanova to its 6-3 winning margin.

    Villanova, also nicknamed the Wildcats, dented the scoreboard first with a pair of runs off of Northwestern starting pitcher Luke Farrellin the fourth inning. Designated hitter Steve Schrenk ripped an RBI single and catcher John Cialone hit a sacrifice fly to account for the scoring.

    Farrell was removed from the ballgame and replaced by reliever Dan Tyson to open the fifth inning. Villanova pounded out four hits in the frame to push across three more scores and extend their advantage to 5-0.

    The Wildcats clad in purple and white begin to cut into the deficit in the home-half of the fifth inning. Havey and Rowan opened the inning with back-to-back singles and Havey eventually crossed the plate when VU's Pat Young uncorked a wild pitch to make it 5-1.

    After a scoreless sixth inning and top of the seventh, Northwestern's Wildcats demonstrated a power surge. Snieder opened the inning with a home run, his team-leading second of the season. Not to be outdone, Havey, the clean-up man, blasted his second big fly of the season over the wall to pull NU within two. Unfortunately that was all the offense that the 'Cats could muster for the inning and as it turned out, the rest of the game.

    Villanova added an insurance run in the top of the ninth to set the final margin.

    Northwestern will finish play at the Snowbird Classic on Sunday morning against Chicago State. The first pitch between the 'Cats and Cougars from South County Regional is set for 10 a.m. CST.

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