March 20, 2012
Box Score | Box Score
Site: Winter Haven, Fla. (Chain of Lakes Park Stadium)
Score: Northwestern 3, Nebraska-Omaha 1
Records: NU (7-12, 0-0 Big Ten), Nebraska-Omaha (7-16)
Next NU Event: Friday, March 23 -- at Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa), 4:05 p.m.
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Jack Havey drove in a pair of runs and starting pitcher Dan Tyson tossed six-plus scoreless innings to help the Northwestern Wildcats win their final game at the 2012 RussMatt Invitational Tuesday, a 3-1 triumph over Nebraska-Omaha.
The Wildcats got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second inning. Designated hitter Jack Livingston drew a walk and moved to second on Geoff Rowan's one-hop single over the head of the UNO third baseman Alex Mortensen. The next batter, right fielder Walker Moses, drove in the first run of the game when his base hit to right plated Livingston.
Moses found himself in a rundown between first and second and Rowan tried to score on the play. On a close call, Northwestern's catcher was unable to avoid the tag from his counterpart, Colby McCord, and the inning was over with the 'Cats clinging to a 1-0 lead.
A nearly identical situation played out in the top of the fourth inning. Livingston earned his second free pass with two outs and Rowan chopped a ball over the head of Mortensen. Once again Moses delivered a single to right, but this time a strong throw from Mark Waldron to McCord cut down Livingston and the scoring opportunity was unrealized.
After Kyle Ruchim walked, Paul Snieder delivered a rocket up the middle for a base hit with two outs in the fifth inning. The single extended the senior's hitting streak to a team-high 11 games. It also marked the 18th consecutive game that he has reached base safely.
The next hitter, left fielder Jack Havey, drove in his team-best 15th run of the season with a single up the middle, scoring Ruchim and increasing NU's lead to 2-0.
Meanwhile, Tyson continued to deal from the mound. The sophomore, in his first start of the season, retired the side in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings. He also was aided by several sparkling defensive plays by both his infielders and outfielders all game long.
Mortensen led off the top of the seventh with a single to shallow center field for the Mavericks. After a fly ball that was caught by Moses and a strikeout, Jared Patton reached on an error and Tyson was lifted in favor of Luke Farrell.
Farrell walked the first batter he faced on a full count. The big right-hander got Brady Hohl to pop out to Zach Morton, however, to quell the first real threat of the game from Nebraska-Omaha.
The 'Cats added another tally in the bottom of the seventh. Ruchim singled and moved to second when Morton walked. NU's shortstop took third on a long sacrifice fly off the bat of Snieder and scored when Havey followed suit with an RBI-sac-fly of his own.
The Mavericks finally ended the shutout with a run in the eighth. Scotty Donner poked an RBI-single to right center field that scored McCord and cut the Northwestern lead to 3-1.
The 'Cats scratched out a pair of hits in the bottom of the eighth, but they were unable to score. Ruchim, who relieved Farrell to start the eighth, returned to toe the rubber in the top of the ninth. The closer fanned the first two batters on strikes and got Hohl to ground out to Nick Linne at third base to end the game and earn his fifth save of the campaign.
Tyson earned the victory against the Mavericks, his second of the season. The lefty scattered six hits and did not allow a run over 6.1 IP. He struck out two and walked only one in his first start of the season.
With his third-inning single off starter Matt Tew, Morton also reached base safely for the 18th time this season.
Northwestern concluded its spring break with a 3-3 record at the RussMatt Invitational. The Wildcats will jump into Big Ten play this weekend with a three-game set at Iowa beginning Friday at 4:05 p.m. The `Cats averaged 10.8 runs per ballgame and won three out of four contests during their last trip to Duane Banks Stadium back in 2008.
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! and subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter to receive 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!