March 23, 2008
BRADENTON, Fla. -
Jake Goebbert had four hits and drove in six runs, but it wasn't enough as Northwestern dropped a 12-11 heartbreaker to Kansas Sunday morning. A solo tally by the Jayhawks in the top of the eighth inning was the difference.
The Wildcats (4-8) found themselves in a 3-0 hole after the top of the first inning, but rallied right back to take an 8-3 lead after posting four runs in each of the opening two frames.
Consecutive walks to open the bottom half of the first set the table for Goebbert who doubled home both Aaron Newman and Jake Owens to get NU within one. Tommy Finn brought in the tying run with a squeeze bunt and Mike Kalina gave the Wildcats the lead when he stole third and scored on the ensuing throwing error.
After batting around in the opening inning, Northwestern did it again in the second, chasing KU starter Nick Czyz in the process. Newman and Owens got on base again to open the frame and advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch prior to Goebbert singling them both home to extend the edge to 6-3. Freshmen Chris Lashmet and Nate Roberts would also drive in runs in the inning to put the 'Cats up by five.
However, Kansas (15-9) would respond with four runs in the top of third to get back within one at 8-7 and then tallied two more in the fourth to go ahead 9-8.
Lashmet got the Wildcats back to even in the bottom half of the fourth as he launched the first home run of his collegiate career, a blast that traveled 400-plus feet to straight-away center.
The scoring spree continued in the bottom of the fifth as Goebbert put Northwestern back out in front, 10-8, with a two-run shot to right. However, the Jayhawks' bullpen was able to silence the Wildcats' bats the rest of the way.
Kansas knotted the game with two in the sixth and then pushed across the eventual winning run with a two-out rally in the eighth.
After collecting nine hits through the first five innings of play, NU managed just two over the final four frames.
The top four batters in Northwestern's order scored 10 of its 11 runs, with Owens and Goebbert scoring three apiece. In addition to Goebbert's four-hit effort, Owens and Mike Kalina had two apiece.
Matt Havey (0-1) suffered the loss for NU despite allowing just one run while striking out four in 3.2 innings of relief.
The Wildcats were scheduled to wrap competition in Florida at approximately noon Central time when they take on Dartmouth.