NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS

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    March 27, 1998

    Baseball Opens Big Ten Season With 15-9 Win Over Ohio State

    NU Hits Three Homers in the Victory

    Box Score

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern left fielder Ken Kilian led off the first inning with a first-pitch home run and the Wildcats pounded a total of 21 hits en route to a 15-9 win over Ohio State in Friday's Big Ten Conference opener at Rocky Miller Park. NU improves to 12-5, 1-0 Big Ten, while OSU drops to 12-5, 0-1 Big Ten.

    The 'Cats opened an 8-0 lead in the second inning, sending 10 batters to the plate in the process. With one out, freshman catcher Joe Hietpas knocked a solo homer to dead center field, his fifth of the season. Later in the inning, second baseman Ollie Dunn knocked a two-run homer, his third of the year. NU rallied again in the bottom of the fifth inning, batting around for the second time. Mike Stritch delivered a two-out, basesloaded double to boost NU's lead to 14-1 after five innings.

    Ohio State got back in the game in the sixth inning, sending 13 batters to the plate while closing the gap to 14-9. After two walks and a single, OSU left fielder Jason Driscoll cleared the bases with a grand slam to left field, his first homer of the season. The first nine Buckeyes reached base before designated hitter Dan Seimetz fanned with the bases loaded. Two batters later, NU reliever Charlie Williamson got Driscoll to bounce into a 6-4-3 double play to end the eight-run inning. Williamson pitched the final 3.2 innings, allowing just two hits and one walk.

    Chris Hargan (2-1) got the victory for NU while Justin Fry (3-1) took the loss for the Buckeyes. Williamson earned his first save of the year. The two teams will play a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park.