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    Northwestern Edged by Ohio State, 5-3

    Zach Morton ignited the offense with a two-out double in the first inning Sunday.

    Zach Morton ignited the offense with a two-out double in the first inning Sunday.

    May 5, 2013

    Watch: Ohio State Game Highlights

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     vs. Ohio State
     Box Score  OSU 5, NU 3
     Records  NU 20-19 (8-12 B1G), OSU 31-14 (13-7 B1G)
     Next Game
     vs. Ohio State (Evanston, Ill.), May 6, 3:00 p.m.

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- One day after blanking the Buckeyes at Rocky Miller Park, the Northwestern Wildcats dropped the second game of a three-game set on a sunny Sunday afternoon, 5-3.

    After being held to just two hits in the series opener, the Buckeyes struck quickly for a run in the first inning against Northwestern's Brandon Magallones. OSU's Ryan Cypret walked with one out and scored two batters later when Pat Porter blasted a double over the head of leftfielder Walker Moses to give the visitors their first lead of the series.

    Northwestern fired back with a first-inning run of its own against southpaw Brian King. Zach Morton, one of five seniors honored Sunday, lined a double to left field with two outs ahead of Jack Havey, who flipped a base hit into center for his third RBI of the series.

    Ohio State Game Two Highlights

    Neither team generated much on offense over the next two frames, thanks in large part to the work of Magallones and King on the bump. NU's Jack Quigley singled to left and stole second base to lead off the second, but he couldn't score. Later, the Buckeyes put a runner on second base with one out in the third inning, but the speedy Joe Ciamacco was picked off by Magallones.

    Ohio State finally grabbed back the lead in the top of the fourth when Porter connected for a lead-off home run to right field that put his team up 2-1. Magallones gave up another hit and a walk in the inning, but he kept the Buckeyes off the scoreboard with the help of a great diving grab by centerfielder Kyle Ruchim to end the threat.

    The Wildcats snatched their first lead of the ballgame with a pair of big runs in the home half of the sixth inning. Trevor Stevens lined a single up the middle and scored all the way from first base to tie it up when Ruchim uncorked a double down the left-field line. Following a wild pitch, Ruchim scored on Morton's sacrifice fly to right field and after six innings, the 'Cats led the Buckeyes, 3-2.

    OSU got a run back against NU reliever Reed Mason in the next half inning. Ciamacco reached on an infield single, but he got caught in a rundown and was thrown out stealing for the first time in his career thanks to steady execution by Mason, Havey and Stevens. Mason then walked a pair sandwiched around a single to load the bases for Jacob Bosiokovic. Bosiokovic, who struck out three times Sunday, delivered in this particular at-bat when he narrowly beat out a strong throw from third baseman Nick Linne, allowing Cypret to score. Mason got a fly ball to Morton at second base and a big strikeout of Aaron Gretz to end the inning, but Ohio State had tied it again.

    After being held off the scoreboard in the seventh and eighth innings by King and Brett McKinney, Northwestern ran into trouble in the top of the ninth inning. Ruchim had moved to the pitcher's mound and he issued a dreaded lead-off walk to Porter before fanning Bosiokovic for the first out. Troy Kuhn then found a hole on the left side past a diving Stevens to put runners at first and third for Gretz. Kuhn stole second, prompting Northwestern's infield to play in to try and cut off the go-ahead run. Gretz smashed a pitch to Morton at second, but the Evanston, Ill., native was unable to handle it cleanly and both runners scored as the ball trickled into the outfield.

    With a 5-3 advantage, Ohio State turned it over to closer Trace Dempsey in the bottom of the ninth. The Buckeye got two quick outs before catcher Scott Heelan kept the rally alive with a single up the middle. Jack Livingston was called upon to pinch hit, but the junior could not find a hole against the Big Ten leader in saves and the game ended in favor of the Buckeyes.

    McKinney earned the win, his fourth of the season. Dempsey notched his 15th save Sunday with a scoreless ninth. Ruchim was saddled with his second loss of the season and first since March 10.

    Northwestern honored the contributions and careers of seniors Colby Everett, Luke Farrell, Havey, Morton and Stevens Sunday, both before and after the game.

    The rubber game of the series is set for Monday, May 6 at 3 p.m., once again at Rocky Miller Park. Morton is slated to take the mound for the Wildcats; he'll be opposed by Ohio State right-handed pitcher Jaron Long.


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