March 18, 2011
Site: Winter Haven, Fla. (Chain of Lakes Complex)
Score: Jacksonville State 3, Northwestern 2
Records: NU (4-8), Jacksonville State (13-5)
Next NU Event: Saturday, March 19 -- vs. Massachusetts (Lakeland, Fla.), 12:30 p.m. CT
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Northwestern surrendered a run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Wildcats dropped the opening game of their spring break trip 3-2 to Jacksonville State Friday afternoon.
NU (4-8) jumped on the board first in the top of the first inning off Jordan Beistline. Trevor Stevens started the game with a walk and scored two batters later on Chris Lashmet's eighth double of the season.
The Gamecocks knotted the game in the bottom of the second against Luke Farrell thanks to a two-out rally. After the first two batters of the inning were retired, Blake Seguin singled, stole second and then advanced to third on a wild pitch before eventually scoring on a single by Michael Bishop.
The Wildcats regained the lead in the top of the fourth by playing some small ball. Chris Kontos began the frame with a single to left. He moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt and then went to third on a single by Colby Everett. Geoff Rowan would then plate Kontos with a squeeze bunt to put Northwestern up 2-1.
A leadoff walk came back to haunt Northwestern in the bottom of the fifth as Jacksonville State tied the game. With two away, Erik Underwood's single to left-center plated Bishop from second.
The Wildcats got hits to lead off the sixth, seventh and ninth innings but were unable to push across the go-ahead run as double plays ended the threats in the seventh and the ninth.
Bishop again was in the middle of the decisive rally in the bottom of the ninth as he doubled with one away and scored two batters later on a single down the right field line by Jake Sharrock.
Everett and Kontos collected two hits apiece for NU which was out-hit 12-7 in the contest. Farrell worked the first five innings for the Wildcats, surrendering two runs, six hits and two walks while striking out four. Michael Jahns suffered the loss for the Wildcats as he was charged with the final run after hurling 3 1/3 innings of relief.
Northwestern is slated to play a pair of games Saturday, taking on Massachusetts at 12:30 p.m. Central time before facing Army at 4 p.m.
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