April 5, 1998
Wildcat Baseball Falls to Illinois
'Cats Back in Action on Tuesday.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois scored two runs in the fifth and sixth innings of game one and used a seven-run inning in game two to sweep a Sunday afternoon doubleheader from the Wildcats, 5-4 and 9-2. The Illini, which took all four games in the weekend series, improve to 18-11, 7-1 Big Ten. NU falls to 14-11, 2-6 Big Ten.
In game one, the Wildcats seemingly had control of the game from the start. The 'Cats got on the board first as Chris Pedersen walked to bring home Ollie Dunn, who had doubled with two outs, to give NU a 1-0 lead. Northwestern scored one run in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings, taking a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning on a solo homer to left field by Ken Kilian. The 'Cats could have done more damage, but left the bases loaded in the second and fourth innings. Illinois closed the gap to 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth and took a 5-4 lead on an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth.
The 'Cats loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh, but J.P. Williamson grounded to first base to end the game. Shortstop Jeremy Kurella continued his hot hitting, going 3-for-4 while Patrick Thompson went 2-for-3 with an RBI. John Seaman (6-1) pitched well for the Wildcats, but received his first defeat of the season.
The second contest was another close one early. The Wildcat offense struggled early, with only Kurella getting a base hit in the first five innings. Wildcat starter Phil Rosengren (0-3) kept the game close, allowing just two runs in the second inning for a 2-0 UI lead heading into the bottom of the fifth inning. There, the flood gates opened. With two outs and a runner on second base, Illinois' next six batters proceeded to draw three walks and connect on three hits to post seven runs in the frame off Rosengren and reliever Charlie Williamson.
NU showed some pride in the top of the sixth, rebounding to score two runs on a single by Thompson. Kurella extended his hitting streak to seven games, and ended the Illinois series batting 7-for-13 (.538). Sunday's contest also marked the 100th-consecutive start for Wildcat senior second baseman Ollie Dunn.
NU 011 110 0 4-8-1 (12 LOB)
Illinois 010 022 X 5-8-2 (4 LOB)
WP - Tom Zidlicky (1-2). LP - John Seaman (6-1). SV - Jimmy Journell (2).
HR - Ken Kilian (2).
NU 000 002 0 2-6-1 (4 LOB)
Illinois 020 070 X 9-8-0 (3 LOB)
WP - Jason Anderson (4-0). LP - Phil Rosengren (0-3).