March 23, 2008
BRADENTON, Fla. -
Northwestern stranded 12 baserunners, including leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, in dropping a 6-5 decision to Dartmouth Sunday afternoon. The Wildcats also hit into four double plays in the contest, their fifth one-run loss of the season and third of the weekend.
NU (4-9) was forced to play from behind after surrendering three runs to the Big Green on six hits in the top of the second inning. The Wildcats got one run back in the bottom of the second as Jim Grieco plated Chris Lashmet from second with an RBI single to right-center.
Solo tallies by Dartmouth (5-7) in the third and fourth inning put it ahead 5-1 before Northwestern began to chip away.
Singles by Lashmet and Tommy Finn and a walk to Grieco loaded the bases for the Wildcats with no one out in the bottom of the fourth. Tony Vercelli followed with a grounder that resulted in a throwing error with two runners coming into score on the play to make it 5-3.
After NU left the bases loaded in the fifth, Dartmouth added an insurance run in the top of the sixth to extend its advantage to 6-3.
However, the 'Cats got a pair of runs in their half of the sixth to crawl within 6-5. Vercelli and Roberts started the frame with a single and a double, respectively, to put a pair in scoring position. Vercelli would score on a wild pitch and Roberts would come home on a successful double steal along with Jake Owens.
Northwestern went down in order in the seventh, but had a runner at second with only one away in the eighth. But Dartmouth reliever Ryan Smith got a pop-out and a strikeout to allow the Big Green to maintain its slim lead.
The Wildcats put themselves in great position to tie or win the game in the ninth, loading the bases with only one out. Jake Goebbert opened the inning with a walk and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt. After Mike Kalina walked, Finn went the other way with a basehit to left, but Goebbert was forced to stop at third on the play. Smith was able to get a pop-out and a force-out to preserve the victory for the Big Green, though.
Dartmouth finished with a 16-10 advantage in the hit column. Finn, Lashmet and Roberts paced the Wildcats with two hits apiece. Starting pitcher Matt Gailey (0-1) suffered the loss on the mound, while Chase Carpenter (1-2) was credited with the win. Joe Muraski pitched well in relief for NU, allowing just one run over five innings.
Northwestern returns to action Friday when it opens Big Ten play at Purdue.