Hoosiers Down 'Cats, 3-1
EVANSTON, Ill. - Indiana enjoyed an impressive complete-game effort from starting pitcher Brian Lortz and secured a series split with a 3-1 win at Northwestern on Sunday. The Hoosiers improved their season record to 18-9 overall and are now 2-2 in Big Ten play. The Wildcats fell to 11-11-1 are also 2-2 after Big Ten opening weekend.
Lortz turned in his finest performance in a Hoosier uniform. The junior, who joined the team just prior to the start of the 2003 season, limited the Wildcats to six hits. He fanned a career-best six NU batters while issuing only one walk. Today's win also marked the first time in his career that Lortz went the distance.
Northwestern starter George Kontos took the loss, evening his record at 1-1. The freshman allowed just five Hoosier hits, but walked six and delivered six wild pitches.
Indiana grabbed a lead in the third inning. Ryan Donley dropped a single into shallow center field to lead off the frame. A pair of wild pitches by George Kontos opened the door for Donley to move all the way to third, and the junior scored his 19th run of the season on David Hughes' sacrifice fly to center.
Kontos delivered eight straight balls to walk Reggie Watson and Ryan Parker. Watson stole second base, his first of three in the contest, and went to third on a wild pitch. Corby Heckman drew a walk, the third straight off Kontos. Ball number four was wild, and Watson scampered home from third to give Indiana a 2-0 advantage.
The Hoosiers tacked on a third run in the seventh, taking advantage of another Konots wild pitch. Watson legged out an infield hit and swiped second base before taking both third and home on wild pitches.
Northwestern defeated Indiana in game one of the series on Friday, 2-0. On Saturday, the Hoosiers and the Wildcats split a doubleheader with IU taking game one, 4-3, and NU earning a 12-10 victory in the nightcap.
The Wildcats scored their lone run on two hits in the bottom of the ninth. Jason Krynski led off with a bunt single and moved to third on Mark Ori's double down the right field line. Anthony Wycklendt registered the Wildcats' only RBI with a sac fly to right, scoring Krynski from third.
IU is scheduled for a midweek match-up with in-state rival Indiana State on Wednesday, April 7, in Terre Haute. The Hoosiers return to Big Ten play over the weekend as they entertain defending conference champion Minnesota in their league home opening series, April 9-11.
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