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    Northwestern Returns From Lengthy Layoff at Missouri State

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Freshman Antonio Freschet has started the last five games at second base for Northwestern.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Freshman Antonio Freschet has started the last five games at second base for Northwestern.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    March 6, 2013

     at Missouri State
     Date  Friday, March 8 | 3:00 p.m.
     Probables
     Zach Morton (2-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. Nick Petree (2-0, 1.00 ERA)
     Location  Hammons Field  | Springfield, Mo.
     Live Stats  Gametracker
     Social Media  @NU_Sports   |  Facebook
     at Missouri State
     Date  Saturday, March 9 | 2:00 p.m.
     Probables
     Luke Farrell (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Jon Harris (2-0, 0.00 ERA)
     Location  Hammons Field  | Springfield, Mo.
     Live Stats  Gametracker
     Social Media  @NU_Sports   |  Facebook
     at Missouri State
     Date  Sunday, March 10 | 1:00 p.m.
     Probables
     Brandon Magallones (1-1, 4.63 ERA) vs. Tyler Thompson (0-2, 5.79 ERA)
     Location  Hammons Field  | Springfield, Mo.
     Live Stats  Gametracker
     Social Media  @NU_Sports   |  Facebook

    Northwestern Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- After being forced off the field by inclement weather for 11 days, Northwestern will return to action on Friday, March 8 as it opens a three-game series against the Missouri Bears in Springfield, Mo. The two teams will continue the set with single games on both Saturday and Sunday to conclude the weekend.

    LENGTHY LAYOFF
    With the cancellation of last weekend's series at Missouri, the Wildcats will have been idle for 11 days in between games leading up to Friday's clash in Springfield, Mo. The last time Northwestern had an in-season break last that long happened March 2-12, 2008. The 'Cats did not play a game for 12 consecutive days between March 11-22, 2002.

    BIG TEN'S BEST
    Entering the fourth weekend of play for the conference, the Wildcats remain near the top of several key statistical categories. Offensively, Northwestern ranks third in the Big Ten in batting average (.292), fourth in on-base percentage (.382) and fifth in slugging percentage (.378). On the mound, the 'Cats top the conference in opposing batting average (.203) and in runs allowed (27). Northwestern's pitching staff ranks second in the conference behind only Ohio State with 8.5 strikeouts per game.

    MIGHTY MORTON
    Senior Zach Morton has found ways to get it done both on the mound and at the dish for the Wildcats. The fifth-year standout is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA and eight strikeouts in two 2013 starts. At the plate, Morton leads Northwestern with two doubles, seven RBI and 12 total bases. He also uncorked NU's first home run of the season, a towering three-run shot against Northern Kentucky on Feb. 23.

    FARRELL FANS A DOZEN
    In his first official start of the season, senior Luke Farrell struck out a career-high 12 Lipscomb Bisons in six innings of work during an 11-4 victory on Feb. 24. The right-hander caught half of his 12 victims looking and struck out five of six batters over his final two frames. The mark of 12 Ks is the highest output of any Big Ten pitcher this season and the most for a Wildcat hurler since J.A. Happ punched out 16 Iowa Hawkeyes in a seven-inning complete game on May 3, 2003. Happ now has a World Series ring with the Philadelphia Phillies and is currently a member of the Toronto Blue Jays pitching staff.

    MITCHELL IN A PINCH
    Freshman outfielder Jack Mitchell has been called upon to pinch hit four times this season and he's produced exciting results nearly every time. He is 2-for-3 with a two-run RBI double and a three-run home run. Although he does not have enough plate appearances to qualify, the San Diego, Calif., native would lead the Big Ten in slugging percentage (2.000) and rank highly in both batting average (.667) and on-base percentage (.750).

    CLOSING TIME
    Northwestern has taken to a closer-by-committee approach to finish games this year. On Feb. 22 vs. Ball State, Jack Quigley threw a scoreless inning with one strikeout to earn his first save since Feb. 26, 2011 vs. Wake Forest. The following day, Ethan Bramschreiber picked up his first save since March 26, 2011 by striking out three Northern Kentucky Norse in two scoreless innings. Though he did not earn a save, Kyle Ruchim finished the first game of the season by fanning four Miami RedHawks in two innings of work to close an 8-1 victory.

    BIG LEAGUE DADS
    Both the Wildcats and Bears feature sons of Major League Baseball managers. Northwestern's Luke Farrell is the youngest son of Boston Red Sox manager, John Farrell. MSU's Tate Matheny is the oldest child of St. Louis Cardinals manager, Mike Matheny.

    For more notes and information about the Wildcats and this weekend's series, please download the Northwestern Notes PDF at the top of the page.

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