May 13, 2011
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Rocky Miller Park)
Score: Northwestern 7, Michigan 1
Records: NU (18-27, 8-11 Big Ten), Michigan (15-33, 6-13 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Saturday, May 14 -- vs. Michigan (Rocky Miller Park), 1 p.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Paul Snieder's grand slam highlighted a six-run seventh inning by Northwestern to break open a pitcher's duel as the Wildcats defeated Michigan 7-1 in the series opener between the teams Friday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park.
The outburst made a winner out of sophomore right-hander Luke Farrell who worked seven strong innings to improve to 6-2 on the season.
Farrell locked horns with Michigan right-hander Brandon Sinnery and both offenses had trouble putting runs on the board. The Wolverines were the first to tally, getting a run in the top of the first. Michigan put its leadoff man aboard for the third straight inning on a walk by Kevin Krantz and it came back to cost Farrell. Michael O'Neill's sacrifice fly to deep center scored Brett Winger from third to put the guests in front.
The Wildcats were able to answer right back in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game. Geoff Rowan started things with an infield single and he advanced to second on a sac bunt by Hamilton Wise. A perfectly executed drag bunt by Trevor Stevens gave NU runners on the corners with one out before Rowan came in to score on a wild pitch.
Farrell played with fire throughout the game, allowing Michigan to put its leadoff batter aboard in six of his seven innings pitched. However, he worked his way out of trouble time and time again. Rowan was able to limit the Wolverines' running game, nailing two runners on straight steals and a third attempting to advance on a ball in the dirt.
Sinnery began to struggle with his control in the seventh and the Wildcats were able to make him pay. Jack Livingston
started the frame with a four-pitch walk before Nick Linne's
sac bunt moved him to second. Rowan's second hit of the game put men on the corners with one away for Hamilton Wise
who loaded the bases when Cole Martin was called for catcher's interference.
Stevens then came to the plate and blooped a hit into the Bermuda's Triangle behind third base as the ball fell between Michigan's third baseman, shortstop and left fielder for an RBI single to make it 2-1. A bases-loaded walk to Chris Lashmet plated another run and marked the end of Sinnery's day.
Michigan brought on Tyler Mills to face Snieder and the lefty slugger jumped all over the first pitch he saw, ripping it deep over the fence and halfway up McGaw Hall located beyond the right field fence to seal the deal.
That was more than enough for Ethan Bramschreiber who tossed the final two innings scoreless with three strikeouts to secure the victory.
Snieder went 3-for-4 with the four RBI, while Rowan and Stevens added two hits apiece. Farrell struck out six batters in his seven innings of work, scattering six hits and two walks.
The teams continue their series at 1 p.m. Saturday.
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