May 11, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern sent its seven seniors off in style Sunday with a 4-1 win over the SIUE Cougars in the final game of the season at Rocky Miller Park in Evanston, Ill. Fittingly, senior Nick Friar picked up the win for the Wildcats, while classmate Jack Quigley earned the save.
Friar, Northwestern's starting pitcher, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first inning and the offense picked him up right away in the bottom half. Designated hitter Luke Dauch ripped the second pitch he saw from SIUE's Mike Miller over the fence in right field to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. It was the second time in the series and the 16th time this season that the 'Cats were able to plate at least one run in the first frame.
Chicago's Big Ten Team padded its early lead in the bottom of the second inning. Joe Hoscheit muscled a double down the left field line to open the inning and he advanced to third base on a well-placed sacrifice bunt off the bat of Walker Moses. The next batter, Josh Perlmutter, made the most of his first at-bat in his second start of the season by hitting a sharp grounder to SIUE's shortstop that drove in Hoscheit and gave the home team a 2-0 lead after two innings.
SIUE cut its deficit in half with an unearned run in the top of the third inning. Denton Reed drew a lead-off walk and he later scored on a two-out RBI single to right field by Chase Green. The Cougars went on to load the bases after drawing a base on balls, but Friar worked out of a jam for the second time in three innings when he got a fly ball to Jack Mitchell in left field to end the top of the third. Through three innings, Friar stranded seven Cougars on base.
The Wildcats created a little more breathing room in the bottom of the fourth inning. Moses started the rally with a two-out single to left field. Perlmutter stepped to the dish, and this time the sophomore got every bit of Miller's offering by sending it over the wall in right-center field to give NU a 4-1 lead. It was Perlmutter's first career home run and he became the seventh different player to launch a long ball in 2014 for the 'Cats.
After firing five strong innings on the hill, Friar was replaced on the mound by Hoscheit, who was making his fourth appearance of the season out of the bullpen. The newcomer did a spectacular job of holding the Cougars right where they were over the next three innings. The right-hander allowed only one hit and he worked around errors in the sixth and eighth innings to preserve the three-run lead.
Northwestern's offense was not able to do much else against Miller and reliever Zach Malach after Perlmutter's fourth-inning bomb. NU managed just one hit the rest of the way, a single by Perlmutter up the middle against Miller in the bottom of the sixth.
After one senior started the game on the mound for Northwestern, head coach Paul Stevens called upon another to close it out in the ninth. Jack Quigley got off to a tumultuous start when he hit the first man he faced, but he got a fielder's choice, and later, two fly balls to secure the win for Northwestern and his eighth save of the season.
Friar, Hoscheit and Quigley combined to allow only five hits in the triumph, marking the sixth time this season that the Wildcats surrendered five hits or less. Friar earned his career-high fifth win of the season. In his last eight appearances, the Westport, Mass., native is 5-0 with a 2.40 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 30.0 innings of work.
Northwestern will resume Big Ten play on Thursday, May 15 when it ventures to Columbus, Ohio for a three-game series against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Thursday's series opener is slated to begin at 4 p.m. CT and all three of the contests are slated to be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
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