April 16, 2011
Site: Minneapolis, Minn. (Target Field)
Score: Northwestern 4, Minnesota 1
Records: NU (10-21, 3-5 Big Ten), Minnesota (11-14, 3-5 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Sunday, April 17 -- at Minnesota (Target Field), 1:05 p.m.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Northwestern scored three times in the top of the eighth inning to post a 4-1 victory over Minnesota Saturday afternoon at Target Field. The victory allowed NU to even the weekend series at a game apiece.
The Golden Gophers got to Luke Farrell for a run in the bottom of the first inning to take the early lead. With two on and one out, Trip Schultz blooped a double to left that barely eluded a terrific diving attempt by shortstop Trevor Stevens in shallow left field.
Northwestern had little success against Minnesota left-handed starter Phil Isaksson through the first four frames, managing just one single and one walk. However, the Wildcats finally broke through for a run to tie the game in the fifth. Geoff Rowan started things with a one-out double to the wall in left and came home on a clutch two-out single by Nick Linne.
After allowing three hits in the opening inning, Farrell settled in and allowed just three more hits over the next five frames and stranded three runners in scoring position.
NU finally got Farrell the lead in the eighth and again Linne was involved in the rally. The freshman outfielder started the inning with a single to center and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Trevor Stevens. Minnesota then brought on closer to Scott Matyas to face Paul Snieder.
Matyas entered Friday's contest having allowed no runs and just three hits in 14 2/3 innings pitched this season, but the Wildcats got him for a run on two hits in the ninth inning of the opening game of the series. Snieder continued Northwestern's success against Matyas as his single to left scored Linne from second.
Another single by Chris Lashmet put two runners aboard when the 'Cats went to pinch hitter Jack Livingston who had doubled off the wall off Matyas on Friday. The freshman delivered again on this occasion, ripping a double that got to the wall in left and plated two more to give NU a 4-1 lead.
That was enough for Kyle Ruchim who came on and worked final two innings without allowing a run and striking out three to earn his first collegiate save.
Farrell (3-1) worked seven strong innings, allowing seven hits, one run and two walks while striking out five to get the win. Lashmet and Linne had two hits apiece for the Wildcats.
The teams conclude their three-game series at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.
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