| vs. Iowa
| Box Score
|| NU 2, Iowa 1 (13)
| Winning Pitcher
|| Kyle Ruchim
|| NU 8-5, UI 8-9
| Next NU Event (Doubleheader)
|| vs. Iowa (Carol Stream, Ill.), March 23, 12:00 p.m. CT
CAROL STREAM, Ill. -- In its Big Ten opener, Northwestern used stellar pitching and a pair of big hits from senior Jack Havey to edge the Iowa Hawkeyes, 2-1, in 13 innings at Lee Pfund Stadium in Carol Stream, Ill.
There was one out in the bottom of the 13th inning when Northwestern (8-5) second baseman turned reliever Kyle Ruchim blooped a double into no-man's land in between an Iowa (8-9) trio in shallow right field. The junior moved to third base on Zach Jones' ground ball to second to set the stage for Havey's game-winning base hit. Down to his final strike against Iowa's Andrew Hanse, the first baseman laced a single past the shortstop and up the middle to allow Ruchim to send the Wildcats home happy.
Havey provided NU's first tally of the game as well when he led off the seventh inning with a solo home run to left field. It was Havey's first big fly of the season and the 11th of his career in a Wildcats uniform. The blast also marked the third home run of the season for Northwestern and the first since Jack Mitchell went deep in the top of the ninth on Feb. 23 against Saint Louis.
The Hawkeyes scratched out a run of their own in the top of the eighth off Northwestern starting pitcher Zach Morton. Morton, who had not allowed an earned run in 26.2 innings pitched, surrendered a lead-off triple to Eric Toole. The Iowa centerfielder scored to even the ledger at 1-1 on a ground out by Kris Goodman.
The visitors looked to end the game in regulation when they had runners at first and third with just one out in the top of the ninth. Ruchim climbed the hill from his previous post at second base to strike out Nick Day swinging and Nick Roscetti looking to end the threat.
Iowa made it's last push in the top of the 13th inning when Goodman opened the frame with a ground-rule double to left field and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. The next batter, Keith Brand chopped a grounder to third baseman Jake Schieber who wisely tagged the runner who had strayed too far from the base and made the throw across the diamond to Havey, who made a nice scoop, to retire the Iowa catcher.
Ruchim earned the win, his second of the season for Northwestern. The junior lasted a career-high 4.2 IP on he bump, while striking out a career-best six hitters. Ruchim lowered his ERA to 0.77 in the win. He also added a pair of hits at the plate, including the double in the 13th, to extend his hitting streak to seven games. He is batting .519 and slugging .741 in the seven games his has played this season.
Morton lasted eight innings, allowing the lone run on six hits. He struck out three Hawkeyes and walked only one. Morton's ERA stands at a miniscule 0.74 after Friday's outing.
Havey, Scott Heelan and Walker Moses all tallied two hits in the game. Trevor Stevens also had a first-inning single that extended his hitting streak to eight games.
The victory marked already NU's third extra-inning game of the season. The Wildcats improve to 2-1 in extra-inning affairs and 3-2 in games decided by a single run.
The two squads will reconvene at Lee Pfund Stadium on Saturday, March 23 at noon for a doubleheader to conclude the series. Northwestern will send senior Luke Farrell to the mound in game one, followed in the nightcap by sophomore Brandon Magallones. Iowa is scheduled to start Matt Dermody in the opener and Ricky Sandquist in game two.
Lee Pfund Stadium is located at 1N150 Gary Avenue in Carol Stream. Admission will be free for both games Saturday.
Tickets are on sale now for NU's game at Wrigley Field on Saturday, 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!
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