March 31, 2013
| at Nebraska
| Final Score
|| NEB 8, NU 6
|| NU 10-9 (2-4 Big Ten), NEB 11-15 (5-1 Big Ten)
| Next NU Event
|| vs. St. Francis (Evanston, Ill.), April 2, 3:00 p.m. CT
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Northwestern was hampered by seven errors that led to five unearned runs and allowed Nebraska to take the finale of the three-game Big Ten series at Hawks Field in Lincoln, Neb., 8-6.
Nebraska scored in the first inning for the second time in the series with a run in the off starting pitcher Brandon Magallones. The Huskers' Rich Sanguinetti doubled to lead off the frame and scored on an RBI single to center field by Pat Kelly. Nebraska put runners on the corners with one away, but Magallones got a foul-out to the third baseman, Kyle Ruchim, and a big strike out to end the brief threat.
The home team added two more runs on four hits and an error in the bottom of the second to take a 3-0 lead over the Wildcats.
The 'Cats crossed the plate for the first time Sunday against Nebraska's Tyler Niederklein in the top of the fourth inning. Jack Havey walked with one out before Scott Heelan hit his third double of the series to put a pair in scoring position. Jack Mitchell then drove in his 14th run of the season with an RBI ground out to cut Northwestern's deficit to two runs at 3-1.
Nebraska got that run right back in the bottom of the inning. After Magallones retired the first two Husker hitters, the 'Cats committed a pair of errors that allowed Kelly to score.
Niederklein was relieved by Michael Hoppes to begin the fifth inning and the Wildcats went right to work. A hit batsmen, bunt single and walk loaded the bases and forced Nebraska head coach Darin Erstad to make another call to the bullpen. Zach Hirsch came on to face NU's Zach Morton. The designated hitter greeted the new Husker hurler with a double inside the bag at third that allowed Luke Dauch and Trevor Stevens to score.
The Wildcats kept the line moving when Havey pushed Ruchim home with a ground ball to the right side that erased the three-run deficit and tied the ballgame, 4-4.
Magallones was victimized by two errors that led to another Nebraska run with two down in the sixth inning. After the Manhattan, Ill., native loaded the bases, head coach Paul Stevens summoned Morton from the bullpen. The fifth-year senior got a ground ball to Havey at first to end the inning with Nebraska leading, 5-4.
Defensive miscues continued to plague Northwestern in the seventh inning. The 'Cats were charged with two more errors that led to three more runs for Nebraska. When the dust settled in the frame, the Huskers had built their lead to four runs at 8-4.
NU continued to chip away at Nebraska's lead in the top of the eighth inning. Morton and Havey opened the stanza with back-to-back singles. Later, Mitchell and Zach Jones reached on back-to-back errors by the Huskers and Morton scored when Jones reached safely. Havey scored on an RBI fielder's choice from Antonio Freschet.
Morton, who threw only 26 pitches in his start on Friday night, held the Huskers off the scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth to give Northwestern a chance to rally in the ninth inning.
Ruchim reached first base on an error by Nebraska's shortstop, Bryan Peters, however the offense was unable to bring him around to score and the game ended.
Stevens and Morton finished with two hits apiece Sunday.
The Wildcats will return to Rocky Miller Park for the first time this season on Tuesday, April 2 when they will host St. Francis at 3 p.m. Northwestern will also entertain UIC in Evanston, Ill. on Wednesday, April 3 before venturing to Purdue for its next Big Ten series, April 5-7.
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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