March 16, 2013
| vs. Bucknell
| Final Score
|| NU 17, BU 2 (7)
| Winning Pitcher
|| Brandon Magallones
|| NU 7-5, BU 4-13
| Next NU Event
|| vs. Iowa (Evanston, Ill.), March 22, 3:00 p.m. CT
WINTER HAVEN, Fla.-- Northwestern used a balanced attack to stretch its winning streak to a season-high three games in a row as it disposed of the Bucknell Bison in its final game of the 2013 RussMatt Central Florida Invitational, 17-2 (7).
The RussMatt Invitational has a rule whereby if one team is leading by 10 runs or more after seven innings, the game is over; the Wildcats (7-5) took advantage of that legislation Saturday morning. The 17 runs scored by Northwestern were its most since a 20-4 drubbing of UNLV on March 12, 2010.
The earliest start time of the season didn't faze the 'Cats as they posted two runs in the opening inning. Leadoff man Trevor Stevens doubled off Bucknell's (4-13) Dan Goldstein to start the game and moved to third on a botched pickoff attempt. Kyle Ruchim drove Stevens home easily when he tripled deep to right field and he scored a run of his own on a base hit to left off the bat of Jack Havey to give Northwestern an early 2-0 advantage.
The Wildcats doubled their lead to four runs in the top of the second inning. Jake Schieber drew a lead-off walk, stole second and scored when Nick Linne reached on an error. After moving to third on a sacrifice bunt from Walker Moses, Linne scored on an RBI ground-out by Stevens.
The Bison cut their deficit in half with a two-out, two-run double in the home half of the third inning. Bucknell right fielder Joe Ogren delivered the extra-base hit to produce his team's only runs in the game.
Northwestern pushed across three more runs to open the fourth inning. Linne led off with a double to the wall in left and soon scored when Zach Morton hit a double of his own to left field. Morton and Stevens, who walked earlier, both scored when Bucknell's third baseman couldn't handle a ground ball off the bat of Scott Heelan. The Wildcats led the Bison, 7-2, after three and a half innings.
The scoring didn't stop there, of course. In the fifth inning, Schieber took a lead-off walk from relief pitcher Tucker Rekucki and scored when the right-hander uncorked three wild pitches. Moses singled to left, advanced two bases on another wild pitch by Rekucki and scored on Stevens' second double of the game.
Rekucki was replaced by Marcus Garone, who served up an RBI single to Morton, the first batter he faced. Morton moved to third and scored on back-to-back errors on Bucknell infielders. Heelan then drove in Ruchim from second with a base hit to left. Linne picked up his second double of the morning and cleared the bases in the process to give the Wildcats a 15-2 cushion.
Freshman Zach Jones picked up his second pinch-hit RBI in as many days with a two-run single in the top of the sixth to finish the scoring for the Wildcats.
Starting pitcher Brandon Magallones picked up his second win of the season with five strong innings on the hill. The sophomore allowed the two runs in the third inning, but little else. The right-hander also added two strikeouts in the ballgame.
Reed Mason finished the game with a pair of scoreless innings in relief for Northwestern.
Stevens scored three runs in the victory and extended his hitting streak to a team-best seven games. Ruchim advanced his own hitting streak to six games, each one he has played this year.
After opening the season with 12 road games as Evanston, Ill. thawed out and warmed up, the Wildcats will play in their home opener Friday, March 22 at 3 p.m. The game also marks the start of Big Ten play with the Iowa Hawkeyes invading Rocky Miller Park for an important three-game series.
Tickets are on sale now for NU's game at Wrigley Field on April 20. The 'Cats will take on Michigan at the Friendly Confines with the first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. To purchase tickets, call 888-GO-PURPLE (467-8775) or CLICK HERE!
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, subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for 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!