May 12, 2013
| at No. 14 Indiana
| Box Score
|| IU 9, NU 2
|| NU 22-23 (9-15 B1G), IU 38-11 (15-6 B1G)
| Next Game
|| at Wichita State (Wichita, Kan.), May 16, 6:30 p.m. CT
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Northwestern fell behind early and was unable to climb all the way back as it fell to 14th-ranked Indiana in the rubber match of a three-game set Sunday, 9-2.
Indiana opened the bottom of the second inning with back-to-back singles off Northwestern starting pitcher Zach Morton. After a sacrifice bunt, second baseman Nick Ramos drove in a pair of runs with a base hit through the left side.
Ramos scurried to third base on a single from Justin Cureton, but Morton buckled down to strike out Will Nolden looking and get Kyle Schwarber to sky a fly ball right in front of the mound that the right-hander handled himself for the third and final out.
The home team struck again two innings later. After having a hand in all three putouts in the top of the fourth, IU third baseman Dustin DeMuth recorded the first of back-to-back singles in the home half. DeMuth scored on a wild pitch with Ramos at the dish and Cureton plated another run with a well-placed squeeze bunt up the third-base line. Sam Travis soon added a two-run single and when the fourth frame ended, the Hoosiers were carrying a 6-0 lead.
Morton's outing on the mound was complete after four innings and the fifth-year senior traded places with Kyle Ruchim at second base. The new right-hander got a strikeout and a pair of fly balls to center field to get through the fifth unscathed.
The Wildcats began to threaten Aaron Slegers and Indiana in the top of the sixth. Pinch hitter Jack Livingston started things off with a base hit to center field and Trevor Stevens followed with a base hit of his own. Livingston powered his way home from second base when Ruchim lined a shot of the shortstop for a double, his first of two on the day.
Morton kept the line moving with a single into left field that allowed Stevens to score easily from third base. As Indiana's bullpen began to stir, Ruchim tried to score on a soft grounder back to the mound, but the throw home was in plenty of time and he was cut down for the second out of the inning. Zach Jones picked up his first hit of the afternoon to load the bases, but Slegers got a fly ball on the infield to end the inning after allowing two runs on five hits.
After the Wildcats scored twice in their half of the sixth, the Hoosiers answered with three runs of their own in the bottom part of the inning. A pair of two-out walks both came around to score before DeMuth put down a bunt to secure his fourth hit of the game and bring home the third run of the inning for his team. Ethan Bramschreiber, who entered the game earlier in the stanza, closed it out with a strikeout.
In the top of the seventh inning, Stevens poked a seeing-eye single through the right side and he scampered to third base when Ruchim jacked his second two-bagger of the day into left field. Ruchim's third hit of the day finally chased Slegers from the ballgame.
Ruchim recorded three hits for a team-best fifth time this season. He also extended his hitting streak to nine games with his first-inning single. Stevens picked up his third three-hit performance of the year with a ninth-inning single. He also had four hits on April 26 in an extra-inning win at Illinois.
Northwestern will wrap up the 2013 regular season with a three-game series at Wichita State, May 16-18. Thursday night's game, which is slated for a 6:30 p.m. start, will be the first between the Wildcats and the Shockers since Feb. 28, 1998.
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