March 14, 2008
Northwestern scored three times in the final two innings of play, but the late rally came up just short as UIC took the finale of the three-game series 5-3 Friday evening at Les Miller Field.
The Wildcats (4-5) won the first game of Friday's doubleheader by a score of 6-3.
The Flames (5-7) took the lead with solo tallies off NU starter David Jensen in the second and third innings before scoring twice more in the fourth to go ahead 4-0.
Wildcat freshman left-hander Matt Gailey came on in the fifth and fought off a rough start to allow only one run in four innings of work in his collegiate debut.
Meanwhile, NU had trouble getting to UIC starting pitcher Derrick Miramontes as he was able to shut down the Wildcats through the first seven innings of play.
However, the junior right-hander ran into trouble in the eighth, surrendering consecutive singles to Jake Owens and Jake Goebbert and a walk to pinch-hitter Rob Campbell to load the bases with no one out.
The shaky start to the frame forced the Flames to go to their bullpen, as Don Phillis entered in relief. NU got its first run when everyone was safe, including Owens who came into score, following a fielder's choice on a ball hit by Tommy Finn.
Northwestern's hopes for a big inning took a hit when Chris Lashmet followed with a sacrifice fly, but a Wildcat runner was gunned down on the play for the second out. UIC would prevent any further damage in the inning to maintain a three-run advantage.
NU got one final run in the ninth as Aaron Newman doubled with one out, advanced to third on a balk and came home on a run-scoring groundout by Owens.
Both teams finished with 11 hits in the contest, with Goebbert and Jim Grieco leading the Wildcats with two apiece. Mike Kalina managed one hit in the contest and has now hit safely in every game this season, but it was the first time he did not have a multi-hit game this year. Owens also extended his hitting streak to nine games.
Northwestern returns to action next Friday as it opens play at the IMG Academy Tournament in Bradenton, Fla.