April 13, 2013
| vs. Minnesota
| Box Score
|| MINN 6, NU 3
|| NU 14-12 (4-7 Big Ten), Minnesota 21-13 (6-2 Big Ten)
| Next NU Event
|| vs. Minnesota (Evanston, Ill.), April 14, 1:00 p.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Both offenses were on display early before the pitchers took control, but in the end the Minnesota Golden Gophers produced enough runs to knock off Northwestern for a second-straight time Saturday, this time by a score of 6-3.
The Gophers (21-13, 6-2 Big Ten) scrapped together three runs in the top of the first inning against the Wildcats (14-12, 4-7 Big Ten). After a one-out bunt single, NU starting pitcher Luke Farrell issued a walk and hit a batter to load the bases for UM's Ryan Abrahamson. Minnesota's third baseman drew a full-count walk of his own on a very close pitch to bring home the first run of the ballgame.
Minnesota pushed across another run on a wild pitch and a third tally on an RBI groundout by Connor Schaefbauer to collect a 3-0 lead before Northwestern had a chance to go on offense.
Kyle Ruchim delivered an emphatic response with one down in the home-half of the first. The junior clobbered his second home run in as many at-bats over the fence in left field to cut right into Minnesota's lead. After the Gophers recorded a second out on pop-up to shortstop, the Wildcats dug in once again.
Jack Havey started the two-out action with a base hit up the middle before the reigning Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week, Zach Jones drew a base on balls from Minnesota's Alec Crawford. Colby Everett then laced his second double of the series to the gap in left-center field to score Havey and cut Northwestern's deficit to just one. The next batter, Luke Dauch found a hole on the right side for a base hit that plated Jones, erased the deficit completely and tied the game at 3-3 after only an inning of play.
Farrell and Crawford both buckled down and took control over the next several innings. The Gophers had runners on the corners with one out in the second inning when Farrell started a 1-6-3 double play to escape potential trouble. Later, in the fifth inning, the tall right-hander needed only five pitches to send the second, third and fourth hitters in Minnesota's lineup down in order.
| Minnesota Game Two Highlights |
On the other side, Crawford was tested again in the bottom of the fourth inning when the Wildcats loaded the bases without the benefit of a base hit ahead of Ruchim, one of the Big Ten's most prolific hitters this season. Crawford dug down and got the two-way talent to fly out to right field to end the threat.
The next challenge for Farrell came in the first-half of the sixth. After a hit batsmen, a single, a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk, the bases were loaded with one out for the ninth hitter in Minnesota's order, Troy Larson. Larson grounded sharply back to Farrell, who was able to throw home to force Abrahamson for the second out. The relay from the plate to first base was errant and allowed Schaefbauer to score the go-ahead, unearned run.
Farrell, making his first start of the year at Rocky Miller Park, cruised through his final two innings of work Saturday by sending Minnesota down in order.
Minnesota padded its lead with two runs off of Northwestern's bullpen. Both runs scored on Wildcat wild pitches and were charged to Ethan Bramschreiber, who opened the inning in relief of Farrell. The Gophers four consecutive walks in the inning.
Crawford was relieved Saturday by Lance Thonvold to open the sixth inning. After Northwestern left a pair of runners on base in that frame, the right-hander shut the 'Cats down to earn his first save of the season.
Farrell was saddled with the loss, his second this season. He scattered just six hits over eight innings and allowed four runs (three earned). He struck out three and walked an equal amount. Crawford notched his first victory; he allowed three runs on six hits over five innings with a pair of strikeouts and three walks.
Northwestern will close the three-game series with Minnesota in a matinee on Sunday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park. Sophmore Brandon Magallones will take the mound for the Wildcats. He'll be opposed by Minnesota's DJ Snelten, the reigning Big Ten Pitcher of the Week. The first pitch, once again, is 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 in less then two weeks 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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