IU Concludes NU Series
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - In the finale of the four-game series, the Indiana baseball team fell to Northwestern, 8-7, on Monday afternoon at Sembower Field. The Hoosiers drop to 15-9 on the season and 1-3 in the Big Ten, while the Wildcats improve to 12-9 and 3-1 in the conference.
Trailing 8-7 entering the ninth, sophomore Josh Richardson laid down a perfect one-out bunt and junior Reggie Watson followed with a single to put runners on the corners. However, NU reliever Dan Schwartz (1-0) got junior Jay Brant to pop out to second baseman Jake Ownens and retired senior Joe Kemp with a ground out to Owens to end the game.
Schwartz pitched the final four innings in relief of starter Evan Blesoff, holding the Cream and Crimson scoreless on three hits, no walks and one strikeout.
Hoosier starter Adam Poole gave a valiant effort, tossing a career-best 6 2/3 innings, allowing four earned runs. Senior Steve Nielsen (1-2) was the tough-luck loser, going 2 1/3 innings and giving up one unearned run.
The Wildcats jumped on top for the third straight game with two in the second and as was the case the entire weekend, the Hoosiers battled back with three two-out runs in the bottom half of the inning. With the bases loaded, Richardson was hit by a pitch to score junior Ryan Parker with the first run.
Watson then delivered a single to drive in freshman Brad Udoff, and senior Kurt Weigle came around with the third and final run on a throwing error by first baseman Mark Ori.
After NU tied the contest up with a run in the top of the fifth, IU bounced back with a four-spot in the home half of the fifth. Richardson, Watson and Brant opened the frame with consecutive singles, as Richardson came home on Brant's shot.
Three batters later, junior Zach Boswell crushed his fourth home run of the season over the right field fence, plating Watson and Brant for the Hoosiers' final runs of the afternoon.
Already corralling a pair of runs in the inning, Northwestern trailed 7-5 when Anthony Wycklendt took a Poole offering out to right field, knocking in Ori and evening the game at 7-7.
The Wildcats took the lead for good in the eighth when Mike Phelps singled in Stanley Finch for the game-winning tally.
Boswell wrapped up the afternoon 2-for-4 with three RBI and one run, and Watson went 3-for-5 with an RBI, run and stolen base. Following today's performance, Watson ended the four-game match up batting at a .579 clip (11-for-19) with three RBI, nine runs and three steals.
Additionally, with his fifth-inning base knock, Brant extended his hitting streak to 18 games. Richardson was 2-for-3 to go along with an RBI and run scored. The Silver Spring, Md., native concluded the series hitting .562 (9-for-16).
The Cream and Crimson return to action with a non-conference battle against Indiana State on Wednesday, April 6. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Sembower Field. IU defeated ISU in its second game of the season, 5-4, on Feb. 25, in Millington, Tenn., at the Service Academy Classic.
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