March 9, 2012
Site: Chicago, Ill. (Les Miller Field)
Score: UIC 14, Northwestern 6
Records: NU (3-9, 0-0 Big Ten), UIC (4-8, 0-0 Horizon League)
Next NU Event: Saturday, March 10 -- at UIC (Les Miller Field), 2:05 p.m.
CHICAGO -- Five errors haunted the Northwestern Wildcats as the UIC Flames claimed a second straight victory in the three-game set, 14-6, on Friday. The 'Cats scratched out three runs in two separate innings, but it was not enough at Les Miller Field in Chicago, Ill.
UIC got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first for the second straight afternoon. Joe Betcher placed a single in front of rightfielder Jack Livingston, but Livingston misjudged the hop and the baseball rolled to the wall, which allowed Betcher to scurry over to third. He scored on a base hit by Jon Ryan and Ryan came around to score on a double off the bat of Alex Grunewald, who came around to score on a single off the bat of Harry Kammholz. After one inning of play, the Wildcats trailed 3-0.
Northwestern got its offense in motion to start the second inning against UIC's Matt Heaslip. Jack Havey roped a single up the middle and Nick Linne lined a shot off the glove of Betcher at third. Both runners advanced 90 feet on a passed ball to put runners in scoring position with nobody out and Livingston walked to load the bases.
Heaslip attempted to pick off Livingston at first base, but no one was holding him aboard. The errant throw rolled to the wall and up the line allowing Havey and Linne to score and Livingtson to scamper around to third base. Geoff Rowan then hit a sacrifice fly to deep rightfield to plate Livingston and tie the game at three runs apiece.
In the bottom of third, UIC tacked on four runs to break the tie and build a 7-3 advantage. Cody Dykema, Alex Jurich and Nick Addison all batted in runs during the inning.
Havey opened the fourth with a base hit over the head of the UIC shortstop, his second of the day and the sixth time this year he has tallied multiple knocks. The junior also extended his hitting streak to team-high six games Friday.
Linne followed with a double of his own to secure his sixth multihit game of the season. Havey moved to third and Northwestern looked to answer with an offensive explosion of their own. Livingtson laced a double to right-center and both runners scored to slice the deficit to two runs at 7-5. That hit chased Heaslip from the ballgame; he was replaced by freshman Brian Evak.
NU added one more run in the inning when Kyle Ruchim poked an RBI-single to right to make it 7-6. The 'Cats tallied their second three-run frame of the contest when the inning ended. As it turned out, that was as close as the visitors would come on the night.
The Wildcats put a pair of runners on when Paul Snieder and Livingston singled, but they could not score. Northwestern starting pitcher Francis Brooke continued to work efficiently as he retired the Flames in order in their half of the fifth inning. The righty did the same thing in the sixth as UIC failed to reach base.
The Flames got to Brooke to begin their half of the seventh. Two singles sandwiched around an error brought another run home to extend the lead to two at 8-6. At that, Northwestern head coach Paul Stevens summoned reliever Michael Jahns from the bullpen to try and minimize the damage.
Jahns was unable to record an out and Stevens called upon Ethan Bramschreiber to come in with the bases loaded and UIC leading, 11-6. The Flames tallied six runs on three hits and a pair of Northwestern defensive miscues to build a seven-run lead.
Evak picked up the win for UIC, his second of the season. Brooke took the loss for Northwestern in his first decision of the year. The Wildcats surrendered 10 runs with the Washington D.C. native on the mound, but only four were charged to the senior hurler.
The Flames added one more run in the bottom of the eighth to set the final margin.
The finale of the three-game set will take place tomorrow afternoon at Les Miller Field. The scheduled pitching matchup for the matinee features Northwestern RHP Luke Farrell (0-2, 12.41 ERA, 12.1 IP) versus RHP Matt Salemi (0-1, 10.80 ERA, 11.2 IP) for the Flames. The first pitch is set for 2:05 p.m.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook! and subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter to receive the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!