May 6, 2012
Site: Columbus, Ohio (Bill Davis Stadium)
Score: Ohio State 4, Northwestern 1
Records: NU (16-29, 5-16 Big Ten), Ohio State (27-20, 11-10 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Tuesday, May 8 - vs. Chicago (Rocky Miller Park), 3 p.m.
COLUMBUS -- Northwestern was unable to overcome a three-run first inning by Ohio State as the Wildcats dropped the series finale 4-1 Sunday afternoon at Bill Davis Stadium.
Luke Farrell made his first Big Ten start of the season and ran into trouble right away in the opening frame. With the leadoff man on, Farrell got a called third strike on Ryan Cypret. However, a balk was called allowing Tim Wetzel to advance to second and Cypret eventually reached on an error. A hit batter loaded the bases before a fielder's choice put OSU on the board. A second balk of the inning plated another run before a groundout by Brad Hallberg made it 3-0.
Northwestern had no shortage of baserunners early on against John Kuchno, but the Wildcats left the bases loaded in the second inning before stranding two in the third. NU put two more on in the fourth, but a double play ended the threat. The 'Cats left six on base through the first four innings while hitting into a pair of twin-killings.
Meanwhile, Farrell was continually able to work his way out of jams to keep Northwestern in the game. With two aboard in the second and third innings, he got inning-ending double-play grounders before doing the same with the bases loaded in the fifth.
The Wildcats finally broke through for a run against Kuchno in the sixth. Kyle Ruchim led off the inning with a hit before advancing all the way to third on a wild pitch. Geoff Rowan's sharp grounder to first with one out eluded Josh Dezse to get NU within 3-1.
Northwestern got a one-out walk by Zach Morton in the top of the seventh to get the tying run to the plate against Andrew Armstrong but couldn't cash in before Michael Jahns worked around a pair of two-out baserunners in the bottom half.
Ohio State tacked on a big insurance run in the bottom of the eighth as Wetzel's dribbler down the third-base line with two outs and the bases loaded plated a run to account for the game's final tally. Dezse worked the ninth inning to earn his sixth save.
Farrell (2-4) took the loss despite shutting out the Buckeyes over the final five innings he worked. Just one of the three runs he allowed was earned as he surrendered nine hits and one walk while striking out four.
Northwestern returns to action at 3 p.m. Tuesday as it hosts University of Chicago at Rocky Miller Park.
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