March 17, 2012
Game One Box Score | Game Two Box Score
Game One Box Score | Game Two Box Score
Site: Winter Haven, Fla. (Chain of Lakes Park Stadium)
Game 1 Score: Navy 6, Northwestern 5
Game 2 Score: Bucknell 10, Northwestern 6
Records: NU (5-11, 0-0 Big Ten), Navy (9-9, 0-0 Patriot League), Bucknell (8-8, 0-0 Patriot League)
Next NU Event: Sunday, March 18 -- vs. LIU Brooklyn (Winter Haven, Fla.), 9 a.m. CT
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Northwestern faced a pair of clubs from the Patriot League Saturday as it played its second and third of six games at the 2012 RussMatt Invitational at Chain of Lakes Park Stadium in Winter Haven Fla. The Wildcats dropped a one-run affair to Navy in the opener before a furious rally against Bucknell fell short in the nightcap.
Here are the complete recaps for today's games:
As it did in its opener on Friday, the 'Cats scratched out the first score of the game Saturday morning. The top of the lineup set the table when second baseman Kyle Ruchim drew a four-pitch walk and starting pitcher/designated hitter Zach Morton was hit by a pitch to start that game. Both runners advanced to second and third, respectively, on a passed ball and then came home on Jack Havey's RBI-single to left field.
After a half-inning of play, Northwestern led Navy, 2-0. The Midshipmen got a run back off of Morton in their half of the first with the help of an RBI-groundout off the bat of Greg Dupell.
Later, Paul Snieder padded the lead in the top of the third with a double just inside the right-field line. Morton, who led off the frame with a base hit, wheeled all the way around to score from first base to give the Wildcats a 3-1 advantage. Snieder moved to third base after Johnny Shoberl balked and he scored when Havey delivered another RBI-single to left.
Nick Linne reached first base on a fielder's choice and scampered to third when Jack Livingston ripped his second hit of the game into right field. Geoff Rowan put down a beautiful bunt that stayed inside the foul line, which allowed Linne to score making it 5-1 in favor of the 'Cats.
Navy sliced into its deficit in the bottom of the third inning. Following back-to-back singles, Nikolai Simonsen scored his team's second run of the game on a throwing error by the Wildcats. After a double put runners at second and third with one away, Morton struck out Chance Jones looking. Northwestern's second error of the inning and third on the day, however, allowed both of those runs to cross the dish making it 5-4 in favor of NU.
Michael Jahns came on in relief of Morton to begin the fourth inning. The senior worked three perfect frames to start his morning before issuing a walk to Alex Azor to start the seventh inning. Jahns was replaced on the mound by Jack Quigley.
Simonesen ripped a triple over the head of Cody Stevens in center field and Azor scored to knot it at five runs apiece. Quigley fanned Dave Milanes and then Dan Tyson came on to get the final two outs of the stanza, including a punch out of his own to keep the Mids at bay.
The Wildcats looked have something brewing in the top of eighth when Nick Linne and Geoff Rowan combined for a perfect hit-and-run to put runners at first and third with only one out. Rowan moved to second on Cody Stevens' bunt single, but Linne remained at third on the play. Unfortunately for the visiting team, Walker Moses went down on strikes and Ruchim flew out to right field to quell the threat.
Fortunately for NU, Tyson continued to work efficiently as he collected a pair of strikeouts and a weak grounder to short to hand it back to his offense. The Wildcats could not get much going behind Morton's second single of the ballgame in the top of the ninth and Northwestern was held off the scoreboard.
A walk, a base hit, and an intentional walk loaded the bases for Navy. Tyson was lifted in favor of Snieder to face Milanes. Milanes chopped a ball in front of the plate and Rowan pounced on it and touched the dish for the second out. The next batter, Brandon Beans drove a ball to medium depth left field; Moses made the catch for the second out, but the runner on third tagged and scored just ahead of the strong throw to give the Midshipmen a 6-5 triumph.
Tyson was saddled with the loss in the game. He now is 1-2 on the year.
The Bison, playing their first game of the day, jumped on Northwestern starting pitcher Luke Farrell for a pair of runs on four singles in the first inning. The tally may have ran higher if not for a great relay throw from Chris Kontos, to Havey and on to the third baseman, Linne, to cut down Scott Reed to end the frame.
After the shaky opening inning, NU's tall right-hander found a groove. He retired the Bucknell hitters in order in the second, and in the third, Farrell struck out two of three Bison to retire the side.
NU was able to even the score with a pair of tallies of its own in the home-half of the third inning. Morton walked and Snieder and Havey connected for singles to load the bases with one down. Linne was retired on strikes, but then Jake Straub was hit by a pitch from Ryan Ebner that allowed Morton to score. The second run score came in when the third baseman, David Duffett, mishandled a ground ball off the bat of Moses and Snieder scored to tie the game.
Bucknell grabbed the lead right back in the top of the fourth. The Bison touched up the Wildcats for five runs on four hits and the help of a costly error. Second baseman Travis Clark delivered the biggest knock off the inning with a base hit that allowed a pair of runs to score.
Sophomore Nick Friar made his 2012 debut on the mound in relief of Farrell to begin the fifth inning. Friar earned his first strikeout of the year when he caught Russell Seidell looking at strike three to end the stanza.
The 'Cats earned another run in the bottom of the sixth. Hamilton Wise, who earlier replaced Stevens in center field, ripped a two-out single up the middle and promptly stole second base. The senior speedster came around to score when Ruchim belted a two-bagger over the center fielder's head. Morton then walked, but Snieder popped out to end the scoring opportunity. After six innings, NU trailed, 7-3.
Friar was aided by his defense in the top of the seventh. Reid Hunter turned in a pair of spectacular plays at the hot corner with the help of a nifty scoop by the first baseman Havey to nail down the first two putouts. After a pair of singles, Ruchim made a great pick from his post at shortstop and a throw on the run to cut down Seidell at first for the final out.
Friar finished his day with three strikeouts in three innings of work. He scattered three hits and did not allow the Bison to score during his stint.
The offense continued to go to work for the Wildcats in the bottom of the inning. Havey led things off with a base hit up the middle and he soon scored on a single from Moses to left field. Two more runs came home when Wise collected his second hit in as many at-bats. Once the dust settled in the seventh, Northwestern had trimmed the deficit to a lone run.
Bucknell responded yet again with three more scores in their half of the eighth. The Bison collected two hits and drew two walks off relievers Quigley and Ethan Bramschreiber to increase their cushion to four runs at 10-6. That margin would hold to set the final score.
Another pitcher, Henry Brooke, also made his 2012 debut against Bucknell. Brooke, a sophomore, yielded a two-out single, but it did not hurt him as he tossed a scoreless ninth inning for NU.
Farrell took the loss, his third of the year. Ebner was credited with the win for Bucknell and Alex Cillo picked up his third save.
Wise, Havey and Moses all collected two hits in the nightcap for Northwestern. Havey currently leads the squad with nine multihit affairs on the season.
The Wildcats will be back in action Sunday, their third day of the trip, when they take on LIU Brooklyn at 9 a.m. CT.
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