April 21, 2010
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Rocky Miller Park)
Score: Northwestern 3, Illinois State 1
Records: NU (13-22, 5-4 Big Ten), Illinois State (19-16, 8-1 Missouri Valley)
Next NU Event: Friday, April 23 -- at Purdue (West Lafayette, Ind.), 3 p.m. CT
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Seven Northwestern pitchers combined to hurl a three-hitter as the Wildcats held off a ninth-inning charge to defeat Illinois State 3-1 Wednesday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park.
"I thought that our entire pitching staff did a real nice job of contributing to the win today," Northwestern head coach Paul Stevens said. "It was great to see guys like Quentin Williams and Steve Sanders, and everyone for that matter, come in there and give us a few solid innings. It was a complete team effort."
Northwestern jumped out in front in the bottom of the first inning with a two-out rally against Ryan Camp. Zach Morton drew a leadoff walk, but was doubled off first when Chad Noble lined out to second base. But Paul Snieder singled to right, advanced to second when Chris Lashmet drew a walk and then scored when Trevor Stevens singled to left.
Meanwhile, freshman right-hander Luke Farrell got the start on the mound for NU for the second consecutive Wednesday and hurled a pair of shutout frames.
Camp's command issues cost him in the third as he issued consecutive one-out walks to Noble and Lashmet. Both runners were in scoring position with two outs when Camp uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Noble to scoot home from third to make it 2-0.
That proved to be enough offense on this particular day as six relievers combined to shut down the Redbirds until the ninth inning. Quentin Williams
, who made his first collegiate appearance on the mound, and Jack Havey
each hurled two shutout frames. Steve Sanders
started the seventh inning and fanned two straight batters after allowing a leadoff walk. Matt Gailey
came on with two out in the inning and got help from Chris Kontos'
diving catch in right to continue to keep ISU off the scoreboard.
Northwestern tacked on a big insurance run with a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh. Morton started things with his second hit of the day, stole second and scored on Noble's single to right.
With one out in the eighth, the visitors got a double (their third of the game) from from pinch hitter Chad Hinshaw, but Gailey got a groundout and a strikeout to maintain the three-run lead.
Michael Jahns started the ninth inning for the Wildcats, but allowed a pair of walks after getting a flyout to open the frame. Snieder then came on in relief and issued a third straight walk to put the tying run on base. The Northwestern closer got a flyout to center field for the second out of the inning, but an errant throw back to the infield allowed Matt Mirabal to score from third to avoid the shutout.
Snieder was then able to get Tyler McNeely to groundout to Brant Cavagnaro at second base to secure his seventh save of the season.
NU finished with a 7-3 advantage in the hit column, paced by two apiece from Morton and Noble. Farrell was credited with his first collegiate victory, hurling two hitless frames with one walk and one strikeout.
Northwestern returns to action Friday as it opens a three-game series at Purdue. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. Central time.