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    Wildcats Fall Victim to Michigan State's Offensive Explosion

    RJ Watters

    April 27, 2014

    Game Photo
    Michigan State Spartans Michigan State 15, Northwestern 3
    McLane Baseball Stadium • East Lansing, Mich.

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    EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Three errors in the first two innings put Northwestern in a deep hole Sunday and the Wildcats were never able to fully recover as they fell in the finale of the three-game series at McLane Baseball Stadium, 15-3.

    The Spartans scored first for the third time in the series Sunday, this time by plating three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Cam Gibson drew a leadoff and scored from second base on a base hit off the wall from Jimmy Pickens. Blaise Salter scored the second run of the frame when he came home on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Richardson and Pickens scored on Northwestern's second error of the inning. After an inning of play, Michigan State had a three-run lead.

    The home team created even more distance between itself and the Wildcats with five unearned runs in the bottom of the second inning. Northwestern committed its third error in two innings with all five tallies coming after the defensive miscue.

    Northwestern dented the deficit for the first time in the top of the fourth inning. Zach Jones singled through the right side before Jack Mitchell doubled down the line in left to give the 'Cats a pair of runners in scoring position for the first time Sunday. Jake Straub drove in the first run with a well-executed bunt single to the right side of the diamond. After a lengthy at-bat, Cody Stevens reached on a fielder's choice and Mitchell scored on the play to score NU's second run of the afternoon.

    Michigan State provided an immediate answer in the bottom of the fourth frame. Salter and Pickens produced back-to-back singles to open the stanza and both runners moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch from Northwestern starter Jack Quigley. Spartan catcher Joel Fisher drove both runs in with his second RBI single of the afternoon to get the lead back up to eight runs for the home team.

    The Green and White added three more scores in the bottom of the fifth before Nick Friar came on in relief and provided 1.1 scoreless innings before running into trouble in the bottom of the seventh. Michigan State scored twice before senior Dan Tyson came on and got a double play ball that ended the bottom of the seventh.

    The Wildcats summoned redshirt freshman RJ Watters to pinch hit to lead off the top of the eighth and the Gahanna, Ohio, native delivered in a big way. Watters launched the first pitch he saw from Anthony Misiewicz high over the left field wall for his first career home run. It was the second hit of the season for Watters and the sixth home run for Northwestern's team.

    Northwestern has one nonconference game on its docket this week. The Wildcats will travel to Crestwood, Ill. to play the Northern Illinois Huskies on Wednesday, April 30. The game will begin at 6:30 p.m. from Standard Bank Stadium, the home of the Frontier League's Windy City Thunderbolts.


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