March 27, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Northwestern will visit Penn State for the first time since April 2010 when it invades Medlar Park at Lubrano Field for a three-game set against the Nittany Lions this weekend.
Northwestern opened the 2014 season at USC 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 and are 0-3 in 2014. Last season marked the first time the Wildcats played seven-or-more extra-inning games since 1993.
FINDING A WAY
Northwestern freshman Joe Hoscheit has reached base safely in a team-high 14 consecuitve games for the Wildcats. Senior Nick Linne has found a way to get on base in 11 straight games. Earlier this season, another freshman, Matt Hopfner reached safely in the first 17 games of his collegiate career before seeing that feat come to an end on March 23 vs. Minnesota. Hopfner also owns the Wildcats' longest hitting streak of the season at 10 games.
Northwestern's offense accomplished a rare feat at the beginning of the season. The Wildcats are one of only 11 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 then 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 on the list include McNeese State, San Diego, St. Joseph's, Tennessee Tech, Georgia Southern, Iowa, Nebraska and Canisius.
Four Northwestern position players have started all 21 games this season for head coach Paul Stevens. Infielders Zach Jones (1B) and Nick Linne (3B/2B) have been staples in the lineup, as has Cody Stevens who started the first two games at 2B and the last 19 at SS. Freshman utility man Joe Hoscheit has started nine games at 3B, eight in LF and four as the designated hitter. Outfielder Matt Hopfner has started the last 19 games in the outfield and Scott Heelan has made 18 starts behind the dish. Nick Friar has a team-high 10 appearances, one more than Ethan Bramschreiber, who has nine. Dan Tyson has made seven appearances, including two starts.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Friday: RHP Brandon Magallones (0-2, 4.68 ERA) vs. RHP T.J. Jann (1-4, 2.70 ERA)
Saturday: LHP Reed Mason (1-2, 4.94 ERA) vs. LHP Greg Welsh (0-4, 5.74 ERA)
Sunday: LHP Matt Portland (1-3, 4.24 ERA) vs. TBA
For more notes and information about the series, please download the PDF at the top of the page.
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