March 10, 2013
| at Missouri State
| Final Score
|| MSU 3, NU 2
| Winning Pitcher
|| Erik Shannahan
|| NU 4-5, MSU 10-3
| Next NU Event
|| vs. LIU Brooklyn (Winter Haven, Fla.), March 14, 1 p.m. CT
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- For the second time in the series, Northwestern fell victim to a ninth-inning rally as it dropped the finale of the three-game set at Missouri State Sunday, 3-2.
Though the Wildcats (4-5) fell in all three games of the nonconference series, the margin was miniscule. Missouri State (10-3) picked up its three wins by a combined four runs.
Leading off the second inning, Jack Havey extended his hitting streak to six games when he took the first pitch he saw from the Bears' Tyler Thompson into left field. The base hit also extended the senior's streak of reaching base safely to nine games in a row.
Missouri State (10-3) loaded the bases when its first three hitters reached safely to start the bottom of the second. After Brandon Magallones induced a shallow pop-out to shortstop Trevor Stevens for the first out, Tate Matheny drove in the first run of the ballgame when he grounded back to the pitcher, who fielded the ball cleanly and took it to first himself for the second out. After two complete, the Bears led the Wildcats, 1-0.
Northwestern looked to get its offense going again in the top of the fifth when catcher Jake Straub roped a one-out rocket off the shortstop. He reached second base on a ground out by Nick Linne, but he could not score in the inning. Straub's single extended his streak of reaching base safely to eight-consecutive contests.
The Wildcats crossed the plate for the first time Sunday in their half of the sixth inning. Stevens opened by doubling to left field; the next batter, Ruchim, flipped a single the other way to right field that allowed his fellow middle infielder to come home and even the score at a run a piece.
After Ruchim stole second base, Havey muscled NU's second double of the inning to left field. Northwestern's second baseman scored easily on the play and the Wildcats secured their first lead of the game, 2-1.
The resilient Bears scratched out an equalizer in the bottom of the inning. Conor Smith led off with his third hit of the day to center field and eventually scored on a base hit up the middle by Travis McComack. Later MSU loaded the bases with two away, but Magallones got the hitter to ground out to end the brief threat.
The 'Cats had rallies brewing in the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh, Linne and Josh Perlmutter had back-to-back singles. After a pitching change, MSU's Erik Shannahan got Ruchim to fly out to shallow left field to end the inning without a tally.
In the eighth, Morton walked and Havey singled to lead things off, but a failed sacrifice bunt and an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play squashed Northwestern's chance to score.
Ruchim relieved Magallones on the bump in the bottom of the eighth. Later, in the bottom of the ninth, the junior surrendered a one-out double to Koby Peebles. After an intentional walk and a foul out to Havey, McComack poked a ball to the right side that was fielded in shallow right field by Morton. Peebles did not stop running until he dove into home for the game-winning run.
Havey notched three hits for the ninth time in his career and the second time in the series Sunday. The senior is batting .469 and slugging .563 for the Wildcats this spring.
Though he did not factor in the decision, Magallones was instrumental in keeping the Wildcats in the ballgame. The sophomore right-hander allowed a season-low two runs, while striking out a season-high five batters in seven innings of work.
Next up, Northwestern will travel to Winter Haven, Fla. for three games at the RussMat Central Florida Invitational. The Wildcats open their stint Thursday, March 14 against LIU Brooklyn at 1 p.m. NU will also face North Dakota State on Friday afternoon and Bucknell Saturday morning during its stay in the Sunshine State.
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