April 10, 2006
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Jake Owens drove home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to help Northwestern defeat Indiana 4-3 Monday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park.
The Hoosiers had tied the game 3-3, scoring two runs in the top half of the final stanza, which set up Owens' heroics. Senior Julio Siberio pitched a career-high eight-plus innings, but had to settle for the no-decision. With the win, NU took 3-of-4 from Indiana, giving the 'Cats a 6-2 Big Ten record and a share of first place in the conference standings.
Unlike the first three games of the series, Indiana jumped out to the first-inning 1-0 lead. The run was unearned as an error extended the inning.
NU bounced right back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second inning on three hits. Right fielder Antonio Mule (Lodi, N.J./Lodi) led off the inning with a single through the left side of the infield. With one out, center fielder Dan Brauer (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton-Warrenville South) tripled down the right field line, scoring Mule. It was Brauer's first triple of 2006. Brauer came across on a passed ball by the IU catcher.
Siberio went to work from there.
The senior from Florida allowed just one runner to reach third base in the next seven innings, striking out a career-high seven in the process. The right-hander scattered nine hits in his eight-plus innings.
Siberio got plenty of help from catcher Geoff Dietz (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich) as the junior cut down one runner trying to steal and picked off another at second base.
However, in the ninth, a pair of no-out singles prompted head coach Paul Stevens
to call on Dan Schwartz
(New York, N.Y./Northern Valley Regional). After giving up a bunt single to load the bases, Schwartz struck out the first out of the inning. He then induced a groundball, double play to second base. But after recording the first out at second, the throw got away, allowing the hitter to advance to second. With the ball still live, the IU runner on third successfully crossed the plate when another errant throw did not reach Dietz at home in time. A groundball ended the inning with the score tied 3-3.
In the bottom half of the ninth, shortstop Tommy Finn (Valparaiso, Ind./Andrean) hit a one-out single to right field. Designated hitter Aaron Newman (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) was walked, putting runners on first and second with one out. Owens laced a 1-1 offering down the left field line to score the winning run.
With the win, NU is now 9-17 overall and has won six of its last seven games.
Northwestern is back in action at 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon in a nonconference game against Robert Morris (Ill.). The game will be played at Rocky Miller Park.