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    Wildcats Dominate Catamounts, 15-6

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Jon Mikrut went 5-for-5 with five RBI in Saturday's 15-6 win over Vermont.
    Jon Mikrut went 5-for-5 with five RBI in Saturday's 15-6 win over Vermont.

    March 20, 2004

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    SARASOTA, Fla. - Northwestern continues to swing productive bats, crushing Vermont 15-6 Saturday afternoon in Sarasota, Fla. Playing at Ed Smith Stadium, the Cincinnati Reds Major League spring training facility, NU connected for 20 hits (five for extra bases), scoring a season high 15 runs. NU scored six runs in the third inning and seven more in the fourth to put the game away.

    Shortstop Jon Mikrut and starting pitcher Dan Konecny were the stories for the Wildcats. Mikrut went 5-for-5 with five RBI, while Konecny pitched seven complete innings, giving up one run. Mikrut also scored three runs and Konecny struck out four. Mikrut's five hits in a single game is a career high.

    Mikrut got things going early for NU, lining a single to center, which scored Matt Brimmer from third base. Brimmer reached on a one out single to right and moved to second on Jason Krynski's bloop single to left. Brimmer went to third on Dan Pohlman's fielder's choice, which forced Krynski at second and set up Mikrut's single. After Mark Ori was hit by a pitch to load the bases, designated hitter Anthony Wycklendt was robbed of a two-RBI line-drive double by an outstanding catch by the Vermont first baseman.



    Mikrut stepped up again in the third inning, this time delivering an RBI single down the left field line and moving to second on an error that turned into two runs. Krynski crossed the plate on Mikrut's hit after leading off the inning with a double to the right field wall. Pohlman followed Krynski with a perfectly executed push bunt single and moved to third on Mikrut's hit. Ori followed with an RBI single to right field, moving to second on a throwing error by the right fielder. On the errant throw, Pohlman scored from third, leaving Ori on second with no outs. Following a Wycklendt ground out to third, Doug Beatty hit an infield single the shortstop, moving Ori to third. Freshman Caleb Fields then hit a floating double to left centerfield, scoring Ori from third. With runners on second and third and one out, leadoff man Josh Lieberman hit a seeing-eye two-RBI single through the left side, plating both runners to end the scoring. In all, the Wildcats plated six runs on seven hits, taking advantage of two Catamount throwing errors.

    In the bottom half of the third, Vermont scored one run on two hits as a leadoff single came around to score. The Wildcats ended the inning in dramatic fashion, as Beatty made a diving catch in deep centerfield. As the first runner easily crossed the plate on the sacrifice fly, Catamount runner Kyle Brault tried to score from second, but was cut down by a perfect relay throw by Wildcat shortstop Jon Mikrut, completing the unorthodox double play.

    The Wildcat offense picked up right where they left off in the fourth inning. Krynski and Pohlman set the table for Mikrut again, as the junior shortstop tattooed a line-drive three-run home run straight into the wind in left field. It was Mikrut's first home run of the season.

    Following Mikrut's round-tripper, Ori single to right and moved to third on Wycklendt's double down the right field line. After a strikeout, both runners crossed the plate on Fields' sharp single to center, which turned into a double on an errant throw from center field. After a Vermont pitching change, a pitch hit Lieberman, putting runners at first and second with one out. Brimmer quickly singled to right center field, scoring Fields from second. Krynski followed with a fielder's choice, plating the seventh and final run of the inning.

    NU scored a single run in the fifth, stretching its lead to 15-1. In the inning, Mikrut hit a lead off single and came around to score when Beatty hit a fielder's choice to third, which turned into a fielding error by the Catamount second baseman.

    Konecny was lifted after the seventh inning, as freshman Bobby Ferla was the recipient of some bad luck in relief. Ferla did not record an out, but was plagued by two fielding errors on Northwestern. Sophomore Julio Siberio entered the game with three runs already in and the bases loaded. Siberio induced a double play ground ball and struck out the final out of the inning, ending the Vermont threat. The Catamounts scored four runs in the, only one earned.

    Vermont tacked on one more run in the ninth inning as two NU errors plated the runner.

    Mikrut wasn't the only Wildcats to have a good day at the plate. Krynski was 3-for-6 with an RBI, to go along with Fields who ended the day 2-for-2 with three RBI. Beatty went 2-for-4 and Mark Ori was 2-for-3 with one RBI.

    The Wildcats are next in action when they take on Wright State at 3 p.m. (EST) Sunday afternoon at Academy Park #2 in Bradenton, Fla.