May 17, 2013
| at Wichita State
| Box Score
|| WSU 5, NU 0
|| NU 22-25 (9-15 B1G), WSU 33-25 (15-6 MVC)
| Next Game
|| at Wichita State (Wichita, Kan.), May 18, 2:00 p.m. CT
WICHITA, Kan. -- Northwestern starting pitcher Brandon Magallones was sharp on the mound for seven innings, but the Wildcats offense was handcuffed by Wichita State Friday night in a 5-0 loss at Eck Stadium in Wichita, Kan.
Wichita State had the first scoring opportunity of the evening for either side in the bottom of the second inning. Johnny Coy singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. WSU's designated hitter soon ventured to third base when a chopper went over the head of Northwestern third baseman Nick Linne. With runners at the corners and just one out, Magallones got a tailor-made double-play ball to Trevor Stevens who stepped on second and fired on to Jack Havey at first to end the stanza.
Magallones and Wichita State starting pitcher A.J. Ladwig were both throwing well on the mound for their respective teams through the first five innings. Following the second-inning threat, Magallones surrendered a harmless base hit in the third before retiring the Shockers in order for the first time Friday in the fourth.
Wichita State looked like it was ready to pressure the Wildcats in the fifth after b>Erik Harbutz drew a lead-off walk to start things off. The next hitter, however, lined into an unconventional double play; Dayne Parker hit a ball to Kyle Ruchim in center field and with the runner moving on the pitch, the Wildcats easily doubled Harbutz off at first base. Magallones hit Micah Green, but the sophomore then caught him leaning toward second to end the fifth for his third pickoff of the season.
Stevens hit a two-out single in the third, but he was thrown out on a bang-bang play trying to steal for only the third time in 22 attempts this season to end that inning. In the fourth, NU designated hitter Jack Livingston flipped a base hit to left field, but Ladwig recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end that frame.
Later, Stevens placed a seeing eye single through the right side with one out in the top of the sixth. That particular knock was significant because it was the 225th hit of the shortstop's career, tying him with Joe Perona for 10th place on Northwestern's all-time list in that category.
Livingston looked to ignite the offense in the top part of the seventh against a new pitcher, Aaron LaBrie. The Kalamazoo, Mich., native uncorked his fourth double of the season to the gap in left-center field. The junior, who has been used primarily as a relief pitcher this season, has seven hits, including the four two-baggers, and four RBI in just over 25 plate appearances.
The Wildcats went to the bench and pinch hitter Jack Mitchell, but the freshman grounded out to third base on the first pitch he saw to end the inning.
The Shockers finally broke through for the game's first run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Mikel Mucha launched a ground-rule double and scored when the next hitter, Harbutz, singled sharply through the left side. Magallones got the next hitter to bounce out to Linne at third to end the set, but the Wildcats trailed by a run for the first time Friday.
Reed Mason spelled Magallones on the mound to begin the eighth inning. The first hitter he faced, Green, reached on an error before Tanner Dearman legged out a bunt single. Following a sacrifice bunt, Mason intentionally walked Tyler Baker to face Casey Gillaspie. Gillaspie unloaded the bases with one swing as he deposited his second grand slam of the season over the wall in left field, giving Wichita State a 5-0 advantage. Ethan Bramschreiber came on to get the final two outs in the bottom of the eighth.
NU second baseman Zach Morton greeted WSU's Brandon Peterson with a double to open the ninth inning for his first hit of the series. Scott Heelan also walked in the inning, but the Wildcats were ultimately shutout in the inning, and in the ballgame.
Magallones was saddled with the tough-luck loss on the mound. The Manhattan, Ill., native scattered six hits over his seven innings of work Friday night, allowing just one run. He struck out three Shockers and walked only one.
Ruchim, with an infield single in the first inning, extended his hitting streak to 11 games. The Buffalo Grove, Ill., native also hit safely in the first 12 games he played this season.
Northwestern will conclude the regular season against the Shockers on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. Morton, a fifth-year senior, will take the ball on the mound one final time in a Wildcats uniform.
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