May 7, 2010
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Rocky Miller Park)
Score: Indiana 11, Northwestern 9
Records: NU (20-26, 9-7 Big Ten), Indiana (22-21, 8-8 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Saturday, May 8 -- vs. Indiana (Rocky Miler Park), 1 p.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -
An early nine-run deficit proved to be a little too much for the Northwestern baseball team to overcome Friday afternoon as it came up just short in dropping the opening game of its series with Indiana 11-9 at Rocky Miller Park.
"I don't ever count these guys out," Northwestern head coach Paul Stevens said of his team. "Our pitchers did a good job of putting up zeros to keep us in the game.
"We were one swing of the bat away from winning the game. I don't think there was anyone in the dugout who didn't think that we going to win."
Making his first collegiate start, Jack Havey got off to a good start as he struck out the first two Indiana batters. However, after allowing a walk, he surrendered a two-run homer to Alex Dickerson before Michael Earley followed with a solo shot to give the Hoosiers a 3-0 lead.
A leadoff homer by Ethan Wilson in the top of the second increased Indiana's lead to four and marked the end of Havey's day. Unfortunately for NU, the Hoosiers continued their hot hitting against David Jensen. Dickerson capped a stretch of three straight singles by driving in a run before Earley hit his second round-tripper in as many innings, a three-run shot, to increase Indiana's lead to eight. The guests would go on to tack on one more run in the frame on an RBI single by Tyler Rogers.
Just when it looked like they were completely down and out, the Wildcats put together a six-run bottom of the third inning off Drew Leininger to get right back in the game. Chris Kontos started things with a leadoff homer to get Northwestern on the scoreboard. Singles by Geoff Rowan and Chad Noble sandwiched a walk by Arby Fields to give NU the bases loaded with no one out.
Another free pass to Paul Snieder
brought home the Wildcats' second run before two runs scored on a fielder's choice and a throwing error on a ball hit by Chris Lashmet
. When Trevor Stevens
followed two batters later with a two-run home run, suddenly Northwestern was back within three runs at 9-6.
Jensen was able to settle in after the tough second frame, holding the Hoosiers scoreless in the third, fourth and fifth innings. The senior left-hander retired the first two batters in the sixth before issuing consecutive walks. Earley hit a slow roller up the first base line and when the ball was thrown away, Sabourin was able to race around to score from second to increase IU's lead to four.
Matt Gailey hurled a scoreless 1 1/3 innings before the Wildcats brought on Michael Jahns to pitch the eighth. Indiana was able to push across another run on a pinch-hit RBI single by Sterling Mack to make it an 11-6 game.
But still, NU refused to go away. Snieder started the bottom of the eighth with a single and Lashmet followed with a walk. Two batters later, Trevor Stevens hit a one-out single to load the bases. Leininger was then removed in favor of Chris Squires, the Hoosiers' closer. But Colby Everett was hit by a pitch to plate one run and then Lashmet scored on a wild pitch to make it an 11-8 game. A walk to Kontos reloaded the bases before another run came home on a forceout on a ball hit by Rowan. However, Squires was able to strand the tying runs on base.
After Jahns pitch a scoreless top of the ninth, Noble collected his third hit of the game to open the home half. Lashmet drew a one-out walk to put the tying run on, but Squires was able to record a forceout at second and a pop-up to earn his seventh save of the season.
The teams resume their three-game series at 1 p.m. Saturday at Rocky Miller Park.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter and become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook! Get the latest news, schedule updates, video and interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!