April 15, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Antonio Mule lined a single to center in the bottom of the 10th inning to score Tommy Finn from third and give Northwestern a 6-5 victory over Illinois. The Sunday afternoon win salvaged a tough weekend, with NU having lost the first three games of the four-game series. Freshman Cole Livermore pitched all 10 innings for the win.
The right-handed Cole Livermore (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) got off to a rocky start as a two-out double scored on a single in the top of the first inning.
Things really started to look down when the Illini took advantage of a Wildcat error to extend the third inning. The Wildcat miscue led to Illinois scoring three unearned runs to take a 4-0 lead.
Northwestern responded with two runs on two hits in the bottom half of the inning. Third baseman Jake Owens (Stevens Point, Wis./Pacelli) drove in NU's first run with a groundout to third. Junior right fielder Antonio Mule (Lodi, N.J./Lodi) singled home his first RBI of the game with a lined shot to right field.
The Wildcats added one more run in the fourth inning when designated hitter Mike Kalina (Munster, Ind./Munster) singled through the left side of the infield. Kalina's RBI made the score 4-3 Illinois.
Illinois extended its lead to 5-3 with a single run in the top of the fifth inning. A one-out single stole second and scored on a double to right centerfield.
Livermore did the rest from there. The first-year player stood his ground and gave up just two hits in the final five innings to keep NU in the game. The St. Charles East product went the distance for his second-straight complete game. In his last two outings, Livermore has thrown 18 innings and has a 2.97 ERA in three Big Ten starts.
While Liver more was shutting down the Illinois offense, Northwestern did not mount their comeback until the bottom of the ninth inning.
In the ninth, Mule led off with his second hit of the game, a single to centerfield. He went to second when freshman Jake Goebbert (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) poked one into left field and scored when senior Caleb Fields (Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick) lined a single to center. NU tied the game 5-5 when the Illinois third baseman misplayed a groundball which allowed Goebbert to score and send the game into extra innings.
Playing their first extra-inning game of the season, the Wildcats came out firing on all cylinders.
Finn hit the first pitch he saw into centerfield and went to second when junior Aaron Newman (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) lined a one-out single to left field. After a slow roller to first moved each runner ahead 90-feet, Mule roped a single to left centerfield to win the game. Finn scored on Mule's third hit.
The Wildcats are back in action Tuesday afternoon when they host Valparaiso at Rocky Miller Park. Game time is set for 3 p.m.