EVANSTON, Ill. -
The Indiana baseball team split a doubleheader on Saturday at Northwestern, defeating the Wildcats, 4-3, in game one but falling victim to a walk-off home run to lose the nightcap, 12-10, at Rocky Miller Park. IU's record rests at 17-9 overall and 1-2 in Big Ten play, while Northwestern sits at 11-10-1 and 2-1 in conference games.
Game 1: Indiana 4, Northwestern 3
Indiana rebounded from Friday's loss to take game one from the Wildcats, 4-3, in a back-and-forth affair.
Senior Nick Vitielliss picked up the win and senior Adam Pegg earned a save. Vitielliss improved his season record to 3-1 as he pitched six innings. The Waldorf, Md., product gave up six hits and struck out three without allowing a base on balls. Vitielliss was responsible for the Wildcats' three runs, all of which were earned. Pegg entered the game with a runner on first in the bottom of the seventh. He allowed one hit and struck out one, but closed out the game for his second save of the season.
Kevin Mahar had a hit, scored town runs and drew a walk. Ryan Parker hit a pair of doubles and scored once, and Reggie Watson collected two hits and scored once.
Northwestern got on the scoreboard first. Leadoff hitter Josh Lieberman sent a base hit to left-center, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and came home on Dan Pohlman's chopper up the middle.
Indiana returned the favor in the top of the second. Kevin Mahar drew a one-out walk and scored on David Hughes' single into shallow right field.
The Wildcats snatched the lead back in the bottom of the second as Lieberman knocked in Anthony Wycklendt to make it, 2-1. Wycklendt doubled to start the inning, moved to third on a sac bunt and crossed home plate courtesy of Lieberman's second single of the game.
The Hoosiers answered again in the top of three. Parker walked to start things off. He moved to second on a passed ball and first baseman Joe Kemp sent him home with a base hit to center field, tying the game 2-2.
IU took its first lead of the game at 3-2 in the fifth. Watson singled to center and Parker followed with a double to left-center field. Watson scored from third on second baseman Corby Heckman's fly ball to center.
Northwestern's Jason Krynski tied the game again with his fourth home run of the season, out of the park in center field.
The Hoosiers secured their final run in the sixth when Mahar scored on Ryan Donley's singled up the middle.
Game 2: Northwestern 12, Indiana 10
Though it battled back from behind twice and scattered 19 hits off four Northwestern pitchers, Indiana could not come up with the victory in game two. Indiana owned a 10-9 advantage heading into the bottom of the seventh, but Wildcat second baseman Caleb Fields' fly ball got caught up the in wind and sailed all the way to the right field fence, hit the top and bounced over. The walk-off homer ended the contest and gave Northwestern its second win in three games over the Hoosiers.
All but one IU hitter registered a base hit in the contest, and only one player failed to collect an RBI. The Hoosiers stranded 10 runners on base.
A pair of three-run homers propelled the Wildcats to a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With one out, starting pitcher Adam Pegg hit consecutive batters and Dan Pohlman nailed home run to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead. Pegg hit Jon Mikrut and Mark Ori singled to center field. Anthony Wycklendt blasted a long ball to left to double the lead, 6-0.
Indiana erased the deficit in the fourth on seven hits and two Northwestern errors. Seth Bynum got things started with a double to center field. Mahar drove Bynum home with a base hit to left, and Donley's single straight up the middle plated Mahar. Cody Wargo kept the rally going with a base hit and David Hughes walked to load the bases. Reggie Watson's groundout pushed Donley across home plate. Ryan Parker singled and an errant throw by the third baseman opened the door for him to go to second. Wargo and Hughes both scored on the play. Corby Heckman, who had four hits in the game, knocked a single to center, and Parker made his way home for IU's sixth run.
Northwestern got one of those runs back in the bottom of the frame when Lieberman hit a sacrifice fly to left. The `Cats score twice in the fifth to pull ahead, 9-6.
Indiana rallied back in the top of the sixth. Parker walked and Corby Heckman lifted a base hit to left. Kemp drove a base hit to right to score Parker, and Heckman came home on Bynum's hit through the left side. Donley drove Heckman in, and Kurt Weigle's hit to left plated Mahar.
The Cream and Crimson held a 10-9 advantage heading into the bottom of the ninth, but the Wildcats put two runners on base with an infield single and a fielder's choice bunt that saw both runners safe. Fields' homer sealed the win.
Nielsen was tagged with the loss for Indiana. Wildcat hitters touched him for five hits and five runs, all earned. The junior righty walked one, struck out two and hit one batter. Pegg started the game and gave up six runs on three hits and hit three NU batters in one inning of work. Freshman Matt Saba pitched three innings and allowed three hits and one earned run. He recorded one strikeout.
The Hoosiers will look to even the score in the final game of the series on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Miller Park. Live statistics are available on Northwestern's web site at www.nusports.com.