April 22, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Following a dominant performance at Wrigley Field against the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday night, Northwestern's Luke Farrell has been named the Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, the conference announced Monday.
Farrell was brilliant as he guided the Wildcats to a 6-0 victory in the series opener against the Wolverines at the Friendly Confines. The right-hander retired the first 12 batters he faced at the home of the Chicago Cubs before a single to center field broke up the no-hit bid. Two batters later Farrell induced a ground ball to third base to start an inning-ending double play.
The Westlake, Ohio, native would not allow another base runner until Michigan posted back-to-back singles with one away in the top of the eighth inning. The Wolverines executed a double steal to put a pair of runners in scoring position and establish their first significant threat of the ballgame. Farrell reared back and rattled off back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning and keep the shutout in tact.
After Northwestern's offense supported Farrell with three more runs in the bottom of the eighth to double the lead, the 6-foot-6-inch hurler made quick work of Michigan as he recorded his eighth and ninth punch-outs of the evening. Farrell finished the game with nine strikeouts, marking the fourth start this season he has achieved at least that many Ks.
Farrell allowed only three hits, did not issue a base on balls and used fewer than 90 pitches in his first career complete game. The right-hander did throw nine innings one other time this season against North Dakota State, however that game went to 11 innings before the Wildcats pulled out a 3-2 triumph.
This is the second weekly award of Farrell's career. He also claimed Big Ten Pitcher of the Week honors on April 25, 2011 after holding Purdue scoreless over eight innings while striking out seven. He joins Zach Jones
and Jake Straub
as Wildcats who have been bestowed Big Ten honors this season.
NU's Farrell leads the Big Ten with 59 strikeouts this season and ranks second with a 1.88 ERA. Opponents are batting just .214 off the Wildcats starting pitcher, a mark that ranks fifth in the conference.
Northwestern will return to the diamond this week with a pair of midweek games. The 'Cats will host the Northern Illinois Huskies on Tuesday, April 23 at 3 p.m. at Rocky Miller Park. On Wednesday, NU will make a trip north to Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers, where it will take on the UWM Panthers at 4 p.m.
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