May 13, 2012
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Rocky Miller Park)
Score: Indiana 2, Northwestern 1
Records: NU (17-33, 6-18 Big Ten), Indiana (26-26, 13-8 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Tuesday, May 15 -- vs. Notre Dame (Rocky Miller Park), 3 p.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern pushed across a run in the bottom of the ninth inning but had another called out at the plate as the Wildcats' late rally came up just short in their Big Ten finale Sunday, falling 2-1 to Indiana at Rocky Miller Park.
Handcuffed by Hoosier right-hander Chad Martin all afternoon, NU put together a late charge in the ninth. Trailing by a pair, Northwestern got a one-out baserunner when Colby Everett was hit by a pitch. Geoff Rowan followed with a single to center, putting the tying runs on base and marking the end of Martin's afternoon.
Jonny Hoffman relieved Martin and surrendered a single to Walker Moses. Pinch runner Luke Dauch was waved around from second and appeared to elude the tag of catcher Kyle Schwarber, but Dauch was called out for the second out of the inning. Nick Linne then followed with an RBI single to plate Jack Quigley, who pinch-ran for Rowan, getting the Wildcats within a run.
Ryan Halstead came on to relieve Hoffman and was able to get pinch hitter Patrick Miller to ground out to second base to end the contest.
It proved to be another afternoon of a lack of run support for NU starting pitcher Zach Morton. The redshirt junior right-hander was the victim of some bad luck when Indiana scored its only two runs of the game in the second. With one man already out, Michael Basil swung and missed at a third strike but he was able to reach as the ball eluded Rowan, the Northwestern catcher. Morton was one out away from getting out of a jam with runners on second and third, but Will Nolden delivered a two-run single to put the guests in front.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats stranded five baserunners against Martin through the first three innings, including three in scoring position. From there, Martin locked in, retiring 17 straight batters from the third through eighth innings.
Morton continually worked his way out of trouble the rest of the way, stranding a pair in the third, fourth and seventh innings and one in the fifth. Michael Jahns and Luke Farrell worked scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to keep NU within striking distance.
The 'Cats finally got things going in the ninth before coming up just short.
Morton scattered eight hits in his seven innings of work, allowing two runs and three walks while fanning six. Martin worked 8 1/3 innings to get the win.
Northwestern returns to action at 3 p.m. Tuesday as it hosts Notre Dame at Rocky Miller Park.
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