April 29, 2012
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Rocky Miller Park)
Score: Illinois 3, Northwestern 2
Records: NU (14-26, 5-13 Big Ten), Illinois (25-18, 8-7 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Tuesday, May 1 -- vs. Northern Illinois (Geneva, Ill. - Fifth Third Bank Ballpark), 6:30 p.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Senior right-hander Zach Morton pitched Northwestern's third complete game of the series but Illinois got a run in the top of the eighth inning to edge the Wildcats 3-2 Sunday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park.
NU surged out to a 2-0 lead after three innings against Illinois freshman starter Drasen Johnson. Colby Everett singled with one out in the second inning, moved to second on a single by Nick Linne and then scored on a third-straight hit by Walker Moses to put the 'Cats in front.
The Wildcats made it a two-run game in the third as hits by Morton and Jack Havey gave Northwestern runners at the corners for Kyle Ruchim who delivered a single to center field. Johnson was then relieved by Matt Milroy who prevented any further damage.
Milroy managed to handcuff NU batters the rest of the way as Illinois tied the game with solo tallies in the fourth and sixth innings. The Illini threatened to take the lead in the sixth as it had two runners in scoring position with one out when NU opted to intentionally walk Thomas Shelton to face Davis Hendrickson. The strategy worked perfectly as Morton got Hendrickson to ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Illinois took its first lead of the day in the eighth when Brandon Hohl's sacrifice fly to right field plated Willie Argo from third to make it 3-2.
After entering the game with one out in the third inning, Milroy allowed just one walk over the next five innings. Havey singled with one out in the eighth, but Northwestern wasn't able to move pinch runner Jack Quigley
Milroy came back out for the ninth and the Wildcats finally mounted a rally against the junior right-hander. Geoff Rowan was hit by a pitch to start the inning before pinch hitter Patrick Miller drew a walk to give NU two men aboard. Milroy got the next batter before Hamilton Wise singled to center to load the bases. However, Milroy got a popup and a strikeout to squelch the Wildcats' rally.
Northwestern returns to action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday as it travels to Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva to take on Northern Illinois.
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