May 20, 2005
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Northwestern scored 15 unanswered runs in the final four innings for a 15-10 win over Michigan State Friday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park. The two teams combined for 25 runs and 32 hits. Mark Ori was 2-for-2 with four RBI and Anthony Wycklendt had three RBI as NU improves to 24-27 overall, 12-17 in the Big Ten.
After cruising through the first two innings, Michigan State jumped all over Wildcat starter George Kontos (Lincolnwood, Ill./Niles West) in the top of the third. The Spartans chased Kontos from the game when they plated seven runs on seven hits. Junior Julio Siberio (Davie, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) relieved Kontos with one out in the third. Siberio gave up two hits before a pop out and fly ball to left ended the inning.
MSU scored a single run in the top of the fourth to extend their lead to 8-0. A leadoff double scored on a one-out double to the left field wall.
Michigan State put two more runs on the board to make the score 10-0 in the top of the fifth. A two-run home run to right field scored the runs.
Sophomore Bobby Ferla (Waldwick, N.J./St. Joseph Regional) relieved Siberio to start the sixth inning.
The Wildcats started to claw their way back in the bottom of the fifth inning. Catcher Pat McMahon (Mundelein, Ill./Carmel) capped the inning with his sixth home run of the season. Third baseman Mike Phelps (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) got things started when he hit a led off double to the center field wall. He came around to score on Aaron Newman's (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) slow groundout to third base. Second baseman Caleb Fields (Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick) reached on an error, went to second on Newman's groundout and scored when Mark Ori (Niles, Ill./Maine South) singled to center field. McMahon followed with his two-run blast to right field.
In a game that looked like it was out of reach, the Wildcats scored five more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Those five runs made the score 10-9 in favor of the Spartans after six complete innings.
In the sixth inning, leadoff singles by Max Mann (Los Angeles, Calif./Brentwood) and Phelps prompted Michigan State to make a pitching change. Things did not get much better for MSU. Fields drove in Mann with a single and went to second on a Newman single through the right side. Newman's single loaded the bases for Ori. Ori delivered the first of two key hits in the game when he belted a base-clearing double to the left center field gap. Ori eventually came around to score on consecutive infield groundouts.
Ferla did a good job to keep the Wildcats in the game. The New Jersey native gave up just three hits in his three innings of work. He struck out three and walked one.
In the top of the eighth, Ferla struck out the third out of the inning, which ended a Spartan threat. MSU had a runner in at second base with one out. Two fly balls ended the inning.
NU took that momentum into the bottom half of the eighth inning and ran with it.
In all, NU plated six runs on six hits to take a 15-10 lead after eight complete innings.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, two one out walks prompted another pitching change for the Spartans. McMahon smacked his second hit of the game, a single through the right side, which loaded the bases. Wycklendt took a page from Ori's hit book and knocked a three-RBI bases loaded double down the left field line. His three-run double put the Wildcats ahead for good. One at-bat earlier, shortstop Jon Mikrut (Wauconda, Ill./Carmel) drove in NU's first run of the inning on a bases-loaded single to left. Wycklendt's hit followed and he came around to score when Antonio Mule (Lodi, N.J./Lodi) laced a single to center field. NU's sixth and final run of the inning, Mule, scored on Phelps' sacrifice fly to center. Five of NU's six hits in the inning came in succession. Michigan State used three pitchers in the inning.
Senior Chris Hayes (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) worked the ninth inning. It was his team-best 23rd appearance of the season. Hayes' ninth-inning work preserved Ferla's win. He is now 2-1 on the season.
Northwestern and Michigan State play a doubleheader tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Pat McMahon had two more hits in today's game which gives him 80 on the season. He needs one more to tie the single-season hits record of 81.
Every Wildcat that had an at-bat in the game got a hit.
Today's 15 runs are the most this Wildcats team has scored in a Big Ten game this season.