NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS

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    March 22, 1998

    Baseball Defeats Central Florida, 9-7

    Dodd picks up second win, Wildcats improve to 9-4.

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Wildcats used five runs in the top of the eighth inning to break open a 4-4 game and take a 9-7 victory at Central Florida on Sunday afternoon. NU improves to 9-4 overall while UCG drops to 20-10.

    The 'Cats got on the board in the second inning as Tim DaRosa singled home Brian Baron for a 1-0 lead. NU would score a run in the fourth inning, Baron again scoring on a DaRosa single. Joe Hietpas knocked his third homer of the season in the sixth inning.

    With the game tied 4-4 heading into the eighth inning, NU loaded the bases with two outs. J.P. Williamson delivered a two-RBI single to give the Wildcats a 6-4 lead. Jeremy Kurella followed with a two-RBI triple and a Patrick Thompson single brought home Kurella to close out a five-run, five-hit eighth inning.

    UCF rallied in the ninth inning, closing the gap to 9-7 and had runners at first and third base with just one out. John Seaman forced Knights' catcher Erik Johnson into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.

    Williamson, Kurella and Thompson (batting 1-2-3 in the lineup) combined to hit 4-for-13 with three runs scored and six RBIs. DaRosa ended the game 2-for-3 with two RBIs, while Thompson, Ollie Dunn and Baron each collected two hits. Ben Dodd earned the win in 1.1 innings of relief, improving to 2-0 on the season. Dodd allowed just one hit and one walk on the afternoon.

    The series is now tied at 1-1 with the rubber game on Monday night in Orlando, Fla. Phil Rosengren is scheduled to start for the Wildcats.