Indiana Falls in Big Ten Opener at Northwestern
EVANSTON, Ind. - Behind an outstanding effort from starting pitcher J.A. Happ, Northwestern defeated Indiana, 2-0, in the Big Ten Conference opener for both teams on Friday afternoon at Rocky Miller Park in Evanston. The loss snapped IU's eight-game win streak and dropped the Hoosiers' record to 16-8 on the season. The Wildcats improved to 10-9-1.
Happ kept Indiana off balance all day long as he racked up 12 strikeouts and limited the Hoosiers to just two hits. The junior lefthander, now 3-1 on the season, issued only one walk and hit one batter. Only four Hoosiers reached base.
Josh Lewis turned in a solid performance on the hill for the Cream and Crimson. Lewis nearly matched Happ for the better part of five innings, holding the Wildcats to three hits. The sophomore righthander fanned five NU batters and gave up no walks in eight innings. Both of Northwestern's runs were earned.
Senior shortstop Seth Bynum proved to be Indiana's only bright spot offensively. Bynum registered both of Indiana's hits in the loss, boosting his Big Ten-leading batting average to .455.
Northwestern was able to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first. With one out, the Wildcats got back-to-back singles up the middle from Matt Brimmer and Jason Krynski. Clean-up hitter Dan Pohlman lined a pitch Lewis, hitting him on the backside. Lewis gathered himself to record the out at first base. On the first pitch to the next batter, Lewis' delivery was in the dirt and Brimmer raced home to make it, 1-0.
The Wildcats pushed their second run across in the sixth. Jon Mikrut plated Pohlman, who ripped a two-out double down the left field line, with a base hit to right.
Today's loss marked the first time Indiana has been shutout this season.
Indiana and Northwestern resume their series on Saturday with a doubleheader at Miller Park. The double-dip was originally set to start at 1 p.m. (2 p.m. EST), but will now begin at Noon (1 p.m. EST). Live scoring will be available on Northwestern's web site at www.NUSports.com
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