| Northwestern vs. Mississippi Valley State
| Date | Time
|| Saturday, February 22 | 12:30 p.m. CT
|| North Charlotte Regional Park | Port Charlotte, Fla.
| Live Stats
EVANSTON, Ill. -- After spending the opening weekend of the season in California, Northwestern will travel to the other side of the country to play four games in three days at the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla. The Wildcats will face Kansas, Nebraska-Omaha, Mississippi Valley State and Ball State during their busy weekend.
Play begins bright and early on Friday, Feb. 21 when the 'Cats face the Kansas Jayhawks at 9:30 a.m. CT. Northwestern will then play a doubleheader against two different teams, facing Nebraska-Omaha and Mississippi Valley State on Saturday, Feb. 22, beginning at 9 a.m. CT. The weekend concludes with a contest versus Ball State on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 9:30 a.m. CT.
Northwestern opened the 2014 season with back-to-back extra-inning games for the first time in program history. The Wildcats played back-to-back extra-inning affairs for the first time since April 2001 when they went 11 innings against Valparaiso and 10 innings against Indiana, however there were two days in between those ballgames. The 'Cats were 5-3 in extra-inning contests in 2013. Last season marked the first time the Wildcats played seven-or-more extra-inning games since 1993.
NEVER TOO LATE
Northwestern was down to its final out on Friday, Feb. 14 before a late rally materialized that forced extra innings. First, Kyle Ruchim belted a double to right-center field. The next hitter, Scott Heelan, laced a single that allowed Ruchim to come around to score, tying the game at 3-3. In the bottom of the 9th a pair of relievers stepped up for NU. The home team had the potential winning run on third base with one out before Joe Schindler got a strikeout for the second out. Jack Quigley came on and fielded a bunt attempt and made an acrobatic tag on the runner charging home before he could score to end the inning. The Trojans eventually prevailed on a sacrifice fly in the 11th.
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE
Four Northwestern relief pitchers combined to throw 11 scoreless innings on opening weekend. Senior Jack Livingston toed the rubber for 4.2 IP in the marathon 15-inning game on Feb. 15. The Kalamazoo, Mich., native allowed just one hit and struck out three during the longest outing of his career. Nick Friar tossed 2.0 scoreless IP on back-to-back days (Feb. 15-16), adding four strikeouts. Jack Quigley (1.1 IP) and Jake Stolley (1.0 IP) also posted zeros on the scoreboard for the Wildcats over the weekend.
Redshirt junior Cody Stevens returned to the diamond on opening weekend for Northwestern for the first time since the 2012 campaign. The Glenview, Ill., native missed all of last season while recovering from a blood clot that developed in his brain after he was hit by a pitch in a Prospect League game. Stevens was the recipient of the 2013 CollegeBaseballInsider.com Tom Walter Inspiration Award, an honor named after the Wake Forest head coach who donated a kidney to one of his players in 2011. Stevens picked up three hits and started all three games at middle infield spots against USC.
Four Northwestern newcomers made their collegiate debuts over the opening weekend. Utility man Joe Hoscheit started all three games at USC, posting a .313 batting average and a team-high two RBI. Matt Hopfner made his first start in left field on Feb. 15 and he responded by picking up two hits and a RBI. Joe Schindler and Jake Stolley also appeared out of the bullpen against the Trojans, picking up a combined three strikeouts in 4.0 IP.
PITCHING PROBABLES (NU vs. Opponent)
RHP Brandon Magallones (0-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. LHP Wes Benjamin (1-0, 5.14 ERA)
LHP Matt Portland (0-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. TBA
Mississippi Valley State:
RHP Joe Schindler (0-1, 15.00 ERA) vs. RHP Tyji Evans (0-1, 24.00 ERA)
LHP Reed Mason (0-0, 12.00 ERA) vs. LHP Clay Manering (0-1, 4.76 ERA)
For more notes and information, please download the PDF at the top of the page. To listen to the Northwestern Baseball Report with head coach Paul Stevens and WNUR's Greg Mroz, please click here.
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