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    Wildcats Set to Battle Bulls in Three-Game Set

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Reed Mason ranks in the top in the Big Ten in strikeouts.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Reed Mason ranks in the top in the Big Ten in strikeouts.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    March 5, 2014

     Northwestern at South Florida
     Date | Time  Friday, March 7 | 6:05 p.m. CT
     Location  USF Baseball Stadium  | Tampa, Fla.
     Live Stats  GoUSFBulls.com
     Watch Live  GoUSFBulls.com
     Northwestern at South Florida
     Date | Time  Saturday, March 8 | 5:05 p.m. CT
     Location  USF Baseball Stadium  | Tampa, Fla.
     Live Stats  GoUSFBulls.com
     Watch Live  GoUSFBulls.com
     Northwestern at South Florida
     Date | Time  Sunday, March 9 | 12:05 p.m. CT
     Location  USF Baseball Stadium  | Tampa, Fla.
     Live Stats  GoUSFBulls.com
     Watch Live  GoUSFBulls.com
     Series Notes Northwestern Get Acrobat Reader
     Social Media  @NUCatsBaseball   |  Facebook
    WNUR Audio Preview Northwestern Baseball Report

    EVANSTON, Ill.-- For the second time in three weeks, Northwestern will escape the long Midwestern winter and travel to the Sunshine State for a weekend of baseball in Florida. This time around, the Wildcats will head to Tampa to square off against the South Florida Bulls in a three-game series at USF Baseball Stadium.

    TOP COMPETITION
    Northwestern has designed a very challenging nonconference schedule this season. Though the Wildcats have dropped eight games, the record of the victors in those games (USC, Kansas, Ball State and Tennessee Tech) is 39-7 entering this week. USC, Kansas and Tennessee Tech are all receiving votes in the NCBWA poll, while the Jayhawks are ranked No. 26 in this week's Collegiate Baseball poll. The next opponent on NU's schedule, South Florida, is an impressive 9-2 entering the week with three wins coming against another Big Ten foe, Penn State.

    #B1GBATS
    Northwestern's offense has been one of the most potent in the Big Ten this season. The Wildcats are averaging 5.9 runs and 11.9 hits per game in 2014. The 'Cats currently rank among the top three in the Big Ten in several offensive categories, including: hits (1st, 119), batting average (2nd, .304), runs (3rd, 59) and on-base percentage (3rd, .370). As a group in 2013, NU hitters ranked sixth in the Big Ten, or lower, in all of those categories.

    HIT PARADE
    Northwestern's offense finds itself in some elite company during the first month of the season. The Wildcats are one of only six teams in all of Division I to record 10+ hits in five-or-more consecutive games this season. The 'Cats collected 10+ hits in the first seven games of the season between Feb. 14-23. NU had nine and eight hits in the two games that followed, but bounced back with a season-high 18 on March 2 at Tennessee Tech. The other squads in the club are McNeese State, San Diego, Tennessee Tech, Georgia Southern and Iowa.

    IRON 'CATS
    Four Northwestern position players have started all 10 games this season for head coach Paul Stevens. Corner infielders Zach Jones (1B) and Nick Linne (3B) have been staples in the lineup, as has Cody Stevens who started the first two games at 2B and the last eight at SS. Freshman Joe Hoscheit has started eight games in LF and two as the designated hitter. Outfielder Walker Moses is the only other Wildcat to appear in all 10 games. Ethan Bramschreiber has worked out of the bullpen six times in 10 games, while Dan Tyson and Nick Friarhave made five appearances each.

    BOTTOM FEASTERS
    Nick Linne and Cody Stevensflipped spots in the batting order on Feb. 28 against Tennessee Tech, moving to the eighth and ninth spots, respectively. The move paid huge dividends for the 'Cats. Linne elevated his batting average 54 points over the series to .294; Stevens hit .636 against the Golden Eagles to boost his season average to .359 (+109). Both players had three hits in the series finale, which matched a career high for Linne and set a new high mark for Stevens.

    Probable Starting Pitchers
    Friday: LHP Matt Portland (1-1, 6.60 ERA, 11 K, 15.0 IP)
    Saturday: LHP Reed Mason (0-0, 5.14 ERA, 14 K, 14.0 IP)
    Sunday: RHP Joe Schindler (1-2, 8.40 ERA, 12 K, 15.0 IP)

    For more notes and information about the series, please download the PDF at the top of the page.

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