May 20, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -
On Senior Day at Rocky Miller Park Sunday afternoon, a freshman and junior stole the show, helping the Wildcats win 11-5 over Purdue and sweep the four-game series. NU followed the arm of senior Dan Schwartz to up its season record to 18-36 overall, 9-23 in the Big Ten. This was NU's first Big Ten sweep since defeating Illinois all four games in 2003.
Needing nine hits to tie the single season hit record of 82 set by Pat McMahon in 2005, junior third baseman Jake Owens (Stevens Point, Wis./Pacelli) went off at the plate over the weekend. The Pacelli High School product went 12-for-19 at the plate to set a single-season NU hit record of 85. Owens ended the 2007 season with a team-best .385 (85-for-221) batting average. In the last two seasons, Owens has amassed 161 hits (76 in 2006) and 191 for his career. He missed the final 29 games of his freshman season with a leg injury.
Even Owens' offensive prowess was overshadowed by freshman Jake Goebbert (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire). Goebbert entered Sunday's win 9-for-11 at the plate and five RBI, which included three doubles. All the first-year player did was go 3-for-5 with three RBI on Sunday, including a two-RBI triple. His three hits gave him an unbelievable .750 batting average in the four games against Purdue. Overall in the series, he was 12-for-16 with eight RBI, three doubles, a triple and he scored six runs. Not to mention he recorded one sacrifice fly and did not commit an error, while tallying 33 putouts and four assists. The first baseman had three or more hits in all but one game, a game in which he happened to be 2-for-3 with an RBI. His remarkable weekend raised his average from .298 to .335 for the season.
In Sunday's game, NU scored the first 11 runs of the contest, before the Boilermakers put up one run in the seventh inning. Senior lefty Dan Schwartz
(New York, N.Y./Northern Valley Regional) was the main reason Purdue took so long to find the scoring column. The crafty veteran pitched seven-plus innings, scattered eight hits while giving up two runs. He struck out seven in the process.
Junior Bo Schultz (Dallas, Texas/Highland Park) came on in relief of Schwartz in the seventh, before freshman David Jensen (Whittier, Calif./Mater Dei) finished off the game. Schultz pitched two-thirds of an inning and Jensen one and one-third.
Senior left fielder Mike Kalina (Munster, Ind./Munster) was 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored. He hit .412 (7-for-17) for the weekend with seven RBI total.
Not to be outdone, junior Aaron Newman (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) was 2-for-5 on Sunday and ended his weekend with a .471 (8-for-17) average.
The Wildcat offense did what it had been doing all weekend, pounding out hits. On Sunday, the team racked up 17 in the nine-inning contest, giving Northwestern a four-game total of 63. They hit an outstanding .444 (63-for-142) in arguably their best offensive showing of the season. Seven different Wildcats hit .353 or better, while five different players tallied four or more RBI. They outscored Purdue 43-20 and notched 41 RBI compared to 19 for the Boilers. NU started the series with a .291 team batting average, they end the season hitting .303.