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    Northwestern Battles to Split Big Ten Doubleheader Against Iowa

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Brandon Magallones struck out a season-high seven batters in the game-two triumph.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Brandon Magallones struck out a season-high seven batters in the game-two triumph.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    March 23, 2013

     vs. Iowa (Doubleheader)
      Game 1 Box Score   Iowa 2, NU 1
      Game 2 Box Score   NU 5, Iowa 1
     Records  NU 9-6, UI 9-10
     Next NU Event
     vs. St. Xavier (Evanston, Ill.), March 26, 3:00 p.m. CT

    CAROL STREAM, Ill. -- Northwestern wrapped up the opening weekend of Big Ten play Saturday by splitting a doubleheader against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Lee Pfund Stadium in Carol Stream, Ill. Iowa squeaked out a 2-1 victory in the opener before the Wildcats roared back to take the nightcap, 5-1.

    Northwestern (9-6, 2-1 Big Ten) received strong performances from both its starting pitchers Saturday. Luke Farrell struck out nine in seven innings of work in game one. He scattered three hits and walked only one, but did not factor in the decision.

    In game two, Brandon Magallones took the ball and tossed 8.1 masterful innings. The sophomore picked up his third win of the season after allowing just four hits while striking out a season-high seven.

    Second baseman Kyle Ruchim had two hits in each game Saturday as he extended his hitting streak to nine games. The junior has hit safely in each game he has played this season and ranks second on the squad with six multi-hit games. Ruchim is batting .514 with 5 RBI and 13 runs scored for the Wildcats this season.

    Here are full recaps of both games, beginning with NU's win in game two:

    Game Two

    Ruchim reached second base to lead off the third inning on one of five Iowa errors, this one by left fielder Kris Goodman. Zach Morton pushed the second baseman to third on a sacrifice bunt and Jack Havey drove him home for the first run of the ballgame for Northwestern.

    The Wildcats went back to work in the sixth inning. Zach Jones slapped a double down the right field line to open the frame. The reigning Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week scored on a perfectly executed bunt single by Walker Moses to give the 'Cats a 2-0 lead which proved to be more than enough cushion for Magallones.

    In the seventh inning, Reid Hunter reached on a fielder's choice and scored when Mitchell laced a base hit up the middle.

    Ruchim scored again in the eighth inning after singling and taking second on a wild pitch. The Buffalo Grove, Ill., native scored with relative ease when freshman Jake Schieber belted a double to the gap in right center field. It was the first RBI of young Schieber's career as a Wildcat. Northwestern added another tally when Schieber scored from second on an infield hit by Jones and an error on Iowa's Nick Roscetti.

    Magallones trotted out to the bump to open the ninth inning to protect his team's five-run lead. After getting Goodman to fly out to Moses in center, the right-hander issued back-to-back walks and gave up a base hit to load the bases. He was lifted in favor of reliever Dan Tyson, who struck out pinch hitter Ryan Rumpf looking to begin his outing. After uncorking a wild pitch to allow Iowa to push across its lone run of the game, Tyson got Trevor Kenyon to hit a ball to third baseman Nick Linne to end the game. Linne stopped the ball and made a strong one-hop throw from his knees to nail Kenyon and give Northwestern the series victory.

    Tyson earned his first career save because the tying run was on deck when he entered the game with the bases loaded.

    Jones had two hits in his second collegiate start, while shortstop Trevor Stevens collected two singes on the day. Ruchim, Morton, Moses and Scott Heelan all stole bases in the game as NU piled up a season-high four.

    Game One

    The Hawkeyes scored first in the opening inning of the game. Eric Toole collected a lead-off single, stole second base and scored on a base hit by Taylor Kaufman.

    Northwestern scratched out an unearned equalizer in its half of the third inning. Walker Moses singled and scurried from first to third base on a base hit by Ruchim. Moses scored when Zach Morton reached safely on a throwing error by Iowa's Nick Day.

    The score remained 1-1 until the eighth inning when pinch hitter Kyle Brand singled off NU reliever Ethan Bramschreiber. He would come around to score four batters later when Goodman legged out an infield single.

    The Wildcats tried to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth against Iowa's Matt Dermody. Jack Mitchell singled to right field with two outs and was lifted for pinch runner Antonio Freschet. Center fielder Josh Perlmutter then beat out an infield single to put runners on the corners, but a well-struck line drive to center field was handled by Toole and the game was over.

    Dermody picked up his league-leading fifth win for the Hawkeyes. The lefty surrendered a lone unearned run on seven hits. He struck out five and walked only one Wildcat.

    The Wildcats will return to the diamond on Tuesday, March 26 against the St. Xavier Cougars. The contest is currently scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. at Rocky Miller Park in Evanston, Ill. Northwestern also has a game against Chicago State on the docket for Wednesday, March 27. That contest will take place at UIC's Les Miller Field with the first pitch set for 1 p.m.

    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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