May 13, 2006
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. At least that is what some people say.
In Northwestern's case Saturday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park, the Wildcat baseball team took advantage of some timely Michigan State miscues to win game one of a four-game series 6-3. After falling behind 3-0, Northwestern used four unearned runs on four Spartan errors to help move its Big Ten record to 17-8, and remain in first place. Overall, the 'Cats improved to 20-28.
The Spartans jumped ahead 1-0 in the top of the second inning as a pair of singles led to an RBI groundout.
MSU scored an unearned run in the top of the third inning as an errant throw to third sailed into left field. With the Wildcat infield drawn in and runners on second and third with one out, shortstop Tommy Finn (Valparaiso, Ind./Andrean) scooped up a groundball and fired it home to catcher Geoff Dietz (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich). Dietz tagged out the runner at the plate for the second out of the inning, but his throw to third got away, allowing the runner to advance the final 90-feet.
Wildcat starter Ryan Myers (Mundelein, Ill./Carmel) buckled down from there, not allowing another run until a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning. Myers pitched seven complete innings, gave up three runs (two earned) and struck out four in the win.
With Myers shutting the down the Spartans offense, Northwestern took advantage of four Michigan State errors to score four unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. NU managed just one hit in the inning, a one-out infield single by designated hitter Dan Brauer (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton-Warrenville South). After Brauer's hit, two errors and a walk scored NU first run of the game. After a strikeout, another error allowed two runs to cross the plate and tie the score 3-3. Center fielder Aaron Newman (Palatine, Ill./Palatine), who was the recipient of the third error, stole second base and as the MSU catcher tried to catch Newman stealing, his throw was in the grass and bounced into center field. The errant throw put NU ahead 4-3.
Third baseman Caleb Fields
(Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick) added to the lead when he hit a two-run home run over the left field wall the next inning. It was Fields' fourth homer of the season. First baseman Pat McMahon
(Mundelein, Ill./Carmel) scored on the home run after singling earlier in the inning.
Senior Julio Siberio (Davie, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) took over on the mound for Myers to start the eighth inning and did what he's done all season, shut down the opposing hitters. Siberio pitched the final two innings, gave up two hits, struck out one to earn his fourth save of the season. All four of Siberio's saves have come in conference action. In his last 11 innings pitched (four appearances), he is 1-0 with three saves.
The Wildcats continue their title hunt tomorrow with a doubleheader beginning at noon against Michigan State.