It was another weekend series for the Northwestern Wildcats, and yet another three game sweep, this time behind the arms and bats of the Indiana Hoosiers (26-16, 11-4 B1G). After tallying three more losses, the ‘Cats have fallen to 10-33 overall, 2-16 in conference and have lost nine of their last ten contests.
The series in Bloomington got underway Friday afternoon with coach Spencer Allen’s workhorse Reed Mason on the mound for the ‘Cats. NU got on the board quickly with an RBI single off the bat of junior Joe Hoscheit in the top of the first. For the final eight frames, however, Northwestern’s offense was unable to push any more runs across and would come up short in the low scoring affair, 2-1.
Mason, who hurled six quality innings, allowing only two runs, was charged with the loss – his sixth of the season. For IU, senior Kyle Hart was magnificent after the first inning, notching his ninth victory of the year and junior Thomas Belcher shut the door for the Hoosiers with a near perfect seven out save.
Northwestern outfielder Grant Peikert did his part in game two of the series, driving in two Wildcats on two base knocks in the second and fourth innings respectively to put the ‘Cats on top early.
Nevertheless, the Hoosiers wouldn’t go down without a fight. A three-run eighth inning for Indiana, including a solo blast off the bat of IU shortstop Brian Wilhite, would tie the game up at three and an error by NU first baseman Zach Jones in the bottom of the ninth would push across the winning run as the ‘Cats lost another close one, this time 4-3.
Junior Joe Schindler started for NU, tossing five and two thirds innings of scoreless baseball, but would take the no decision. Freshman Tyler Lass got the loss, his first decision of the year, after surrendering the final run in the ninth which was unearned due to the error in the field.
Allen pulled out all the stops in the final game of the series, throwing seven different Wildcats over the course of the game, but it still wasn’t enough as the ‘Cats dropped their third straight one run contest, 7-6.
Junior Joe Hoscheit was a bright spot for NU as he went 2-for-4, launching a grand slam to right field in the seventh, accounting for all four of his RBIs on the day. Hoscheit, who leads the team with six homers and 25 runs batter in, now boasts a .301 batting average on the campaign thus far.
Indiana tacked on ten hits as five different Hoosiers knocked in at least a run. But IU’s powerful offense proved to be too much for Northwestern’s arms.
With the season slowly coming to a close, Northwestern will look to turn things around and finish the year on a positive note as they face UIC on the road Wednesday before hosting Purdue (7-34, 2-16 B1G) in a battle of conference cellar foes this coming weekend at Rocky and Berenice Miller Park.