March 27, 2013
Watch Game Highlights on Wildcats All Access!
| vs. Chicago State
| Box Score
|| NU 3, CSU 1
| Winning Pitcher
|| Matt Portland
|| NU 10-6, CSU 2-15
| Next NU Event
|| at Nebraska (Lincoln, Neb.), March 29, 6:35 p.m. CT
CHICAGO -- Northwestern took the field for its first midweek game of the season Wednesday afternoon and emerged with a 3-1 win over Chicago State at Les Miller Field in Chicago.
The Wildcats (10-6, 2-1 Big Ten) went to work offensively right away Wednesday against Chicago State's Dylan Sterett. With one out, Kyle Ruchim singled to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. After quickly moving to second on a wild pitch, Ruchim scored on a single by Zach Morton. Morton took second on the throw home and scored himself when Jack Havey doubled the other way to right field.
Northwestern's Matt Portland did not need much support in his second collegiate start on the mound. The big right-hander efficiently fanned five Cougars in five innings of work. He surrendered only one hit as he picked up his first career victory in a Wildcats uniform.
Portland was first relieved by Jack Quigley, who was making his first appearance on the mound since March 8 at Missouri State. Quigley threw a perfect frame capped by a strike out against CSU.
NU's offense had remained silenced until the bottom of the seventh inning when Ruchim and Morton teamed up to scratch out another insurance run with two outs. Ruchim doubled off the wall in the left-center field for his third hit of the game and soon scored on Morton's single to the opposite field.
After the Cougars plated their first run of the afternoon in the top of the eighth inning on a passed ball, Northwestern was unable to add on to its lead in the home half.
Northwestern's Reed Mason surrendered a lead-off single to open the ninth inning, prompting head coach Paul Stevens to summon his closer, Ruchim, to the mound to slam the door. The closer faced the minimum and tallied one strikeout to pick up his first save of the season.
Ruchim, Morton and Havey, Northwestern's two, three and four hitters, combined to rack up eight of NU's 11 hits and all three RBI in the game. Ruchim has hit safely in all 10 games he has played this season.
Jake Schieber and Scott Heelan both collected doubles in the game, while Ruchim and Trevor Stevens added stolen bases.
Northwestern continues Big Ten play this weekend with a three-game series against the Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-15) in Lincoln, Neb. The opening game of the set on Friday night will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network at 6:35 p.m. Veteran broadcaster Eric Collins will handle the play-by-play with former Major League pitcher Cal Eldred providing analysis.
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