April 27, 2013
| at Illinois
| Box Score
|| ILL 12, NU 3
|| NU 18-16 (7-10 B1G), Illinois 25-13 (7-7 B1G)
| Next Game
|| at Illinois (Champaign, Ill.), April 28, 1:05 p.m.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- On wet afternoon that saw steady rain for most of the ballgame, Illinois scored five times in the fifth inning and another four in the eighth Saturday to pull away from the Northwestern Wildcats and eventually win the second game of the three-game series, 12-3.
The Wildcats (18-16, 7-10 B1G) were plagued by five errors in the ballgame with two coming in succession during the decisive fifth inning. Northwestern's record with two or more errors this season slid to 5-12 after the loss.
After Northwestern scored first in Friday's ballgame, the Illini (25-13, 7-7 B1G) returned the favor in the bottom of the second inning Saturday. David Kerian singled with a line drive up the middle and scored when he and the next batter, Reid Roper executed a textbook hit-and-run. With two outs in the inning Illinois added to its lead with a pair of unearned runs. After two innings of play the home team had its first lead of the series, 3-0.
Illinois looked to have a good opportunity to add on in the bottom of the third, but Brandon Magallones and the NU defense had another idea. After twin brothers Justin and Jordan Parr opened the frame with back-to-back singles, the orange-and-blue had runners at the corners with nobody out. Magallones next caught Brandon Hohl looking before the Wildcats threw out Jordan Parr trying to steal second in a 2-6-3-4-6-3 rundown. Magallones then got Kerian to ground out to third baseman Colby Everett to end the inning.
Northwestern put together its first threat in the top of the fourth inning against John Kravetz. Trevor Stevens led off with his second hit of the game and promptly picked up his 15th stolen base of the season. Kyle Ruchim followed by drawing a walk before Zach Morton lined a single up the middle to load the bases for Jack Havey. Havey hit sharply into a 6-4-3 double play, but Stevens scored on the play and the Wildcats had their first run of the afternoon.
The home team recovered and got the run back plus four more in its half of the fourth. Jason Goldstein drove in a run and Jordan Parr plated a pair on a bases-loaded single. Two more runs scored on the play with the help of two Northwestern errors. The Illini led 8-1 after four innings.
In the top of the fifth, Stevens continued to hit well in the series with his third hit of the day, this one to score Luke Dauch from second base to cut into the lead and make it 8-2.
Ethan Bramschreiber relieved Magallones in the sixth by shutting down Illinois and the Wildcats offense responded with another tally in the top of the seventh. Right fielder Zach Jones doubled off the wall to lead off the inning and took third on Dauch's second single in a row. Jones eventually scored his team's third and final run of the day when Stevens reached first safely on a two-out error by Illinois shortstop Thomas Lindauer.
Illinois added four more runs in the bottom of the eighth to reach its final margin of victory.
Stevens equaled a career high with four hits in the ball game. Saturday marked the fourth time that the Glenview, Ill., native accomplished the feat and the first since April 9, 2011 when he did it against Penn State. In this series against Illinois, Stevens is batting .636 (7-for-11) with a home run, two RBI, two stolen bases and three runs scored.
Dauch picked up a season-high three hits as the designated hitter Saturday.
The three-game set concludes Sunday with the rubber match at 1 p.m. from Illinois Field. That game will be shown live on the Big Ten Digital Network with Morton slated to oppose Illinois right-hander Ryan Castellanos on the mound.
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