May 12, 2012
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Rocky Miller Park)
Score: Indiana 5, Northwestern 2
Records: NU (17-32, 6-17 Big Ten), Indiana (25-26, 12-8 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Sunday, May 13 -- vs. Indiana (Rocky Miller Park), 2 p.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Zach Morton went 4-for-4 and drew a walk, but Northwestern dropped the middle game of its series with Indiana 5-2 Saturday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park.
Brandon Magallones got the start on the mound for the Wildcats and worked his way out of trouble in both the second and third innings, leaving the bases loaded.
The Hoosiers loaded the bases for a third consecutive inning in the fourth and Magallones nearly worked out of trouble again. With the bases juiced and one out, Magallones got Kyle Schwarber to pop out to shortstop Kyle Ruchim in foul territory. However, Sam Travis drew a walk to plate the game's first run before Micah Johnson hit a two-run single to put Indiana up 3-0.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats had a tough time getting things going against IU lefty Kyle Hart. NU managed just three baserunners through the first four frames, including two hits by Morton. However, Northwestern finally got things going in the fifth.
With one away, Geoff Rowan doubled and then scored on a nifty slide at home plate following a single to right by Walker Moses. The bases were empty with two down when Nick Linne and Hamilton Wise drew consecutive walks and Morton then delivered his third straight hit of the day to make it a one-run game. Jonny Hoffman then came on in relief and prevented any further damage as Snieder was robbed of an extra-base hit that likely would have given the 'Cats the lead on a terrific running catch by center fielder Justin Cureton.
relieved Magallones to start the sixth and the side-winder worked the next three innings scoreless, including working perfect frames in the sixth and the eighth.
Northwestern nearly tied the game in the bottom of the eighth. Ruchim reached on a one-out error, stole second and moved to third on a groundout, but Rowan was narrowly nipped at first on a grounder to Michael Basil at short.
Indiana tacked on a pair of huge insurance runs in the top of the ninth to extend its lead to three. The Hoosiers loaded the bases for the fourth time in the game and Ruchim got Dustin DeMuth to hit a one-out grounder to second, but the Wildcats could only get one out on the play as a run scored before an error plated another run.
NU mounted one final charge in the bottom of the ninth as pinch hitter Jack Livingston singled and Morton collected his fourth hit of the day with two away, but Snieder was robbed of a hit on a nice play by Johnson at second base who flipped to Basil at second for the final out of the contest.
Indiana held a slim 8-7 edge in the hit column, despite the four hits by Morton. Johnson had three hits for the Hoosiers. Magallones (6-4) worked five innings in taking the loss, while Hoffman (5-1) got the win with 4 1/3 innings of shutout relief.
The teams conclude their series Sunday with first pitch set for 2:05 p.m. Big Ten Network is televising the game live.
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