March 6, 2009
Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score
LAWRENCE, Kan. -
Northwestern broke a 4-4 tie with four runs in the top of the eighth inning, but Kansas rallied right back with five runs in the bottom half of the inning to stun the Wildcats 9-8 in the opening game of a doubleheader Friday afternoon at Hoglund Park. The Jayhawks took the nightcap 7-3.
NU (2-8) loaded the bases with one one out in the top of the eighth before Chad Noble gave the Wildcats the lead with a single to left. Freshman Hamilton Wise followed with an RBI groundout to put the 'Cats up 6-4. Trevor Stevens would later follow with a two-out, two-run double to give Northwestern a four-run cushion.
But the Wildcats gave things right back to the Jayhawks in the bottom half as the hosts scored five times on just one hit. Kansas had just one on with two outs but managed to keep the inning alive when Jake Marasco reached on a wild pitch on a third strike that would have ended the inning.
A hit batter loaded the bases before the inning's lone hit plated one run. A hit batter cut the hosts' deficit to two before the two tying runs came home on an error. A passed ball stunningly gave Kansas the lead.
NU then went down in order in the ninth as Paul Smyth earned the save.
Trailing 1-0, Northwestern took a two-run lead in the top of the fourth on a three-run error with two outs on a ball hit by Paul Snieder. Kansas came right back with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth. The teams traded runs in the seventh before the wild eighth frame.
Eric Jokisch was forced to settle for his second-straight no-decision for the Wildcats despite striking out eight in seven innings of work.
Wild games are nothing new to the two teams as Kansas defeated Northwestern 12-11 in Bradenton, Fla., last season.
In the second game, the Wildcats dug themselves a 5-0 hole after four innings that they weren't able to come back from. The Jayhawks tallied twice apiece in the first and third innings and once in the fourth against NU starter Zach Morton.
Northwestern chipped away at the deficit in the top of the fifth, scoring a pair of runs to get within 5-2. With no one on and two outs, Noble started things with a single and advanced to third on a balk and a hit by Quentin Williams. An infield single by Stevens plated Noble with the Wildcats' first run. NU got its second run on an error and had the tying run on base but was unable to get any closer.
Kansas got a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh before Northwestern pushed across the game's final run in the eighth. Tony Vercelli plated Tommy Finn with an RBI double. However, the 'Cats again left the bases loaded.
The teams continue their four-game series with a single game Saturday beginning at 6:30 p.m.