The team goes to huddle up. While the season hasn't gone as expected, the Wildcats have shown improvement between last year and this year. Photo by Brandi Simpson/North by Northwestern.

Northwestern baseball (13-27, 2-13 B1G) began their games against Purdue (29-15, 11-4 B1G) at Wrigley Field on Friday, Apr. 26, at 7 p.m. The sprinkle of rain didn’t stop the ’Cats from entertaining the crowd of Northwestern fans who had traveled from campus to support.

Purdue came out strong in the first inning with second-year shortstop Camden Gasser hitting a single to left field, allowing graduate left fielder Mike Bolton Jr. to run home. The game remained 1-0 until the third inning when Purdue put up two more points.

The ’Cats responded at the top of the fourth inning with graduate pitcher Kyle Potthoff striking out third-year designated hitter Logan Sutter.

Moving to the bottom of the fourth, graduate center fielder Griffin Arnone hit a single down right field, bringing second-year second baseman Owen McElfatrick and third-year catcher Bennet Markinson to home plate for the Wildcats.

The game was scoreless until the top of the eighth when Purdue stepped on the gas, putting up three runs. In the bottom of the eighth McElfatrick hit a home run, his sixth, to add another point for the ’Cats.

Unfortunately, the Boilermakers put up two more runs at the top of the ninth, sealing their 9-3 win.

On Saturday the ’Cats moved back home to Rocky Miller Park for a 1 p.m. start. Purdue kicked off the game on a high note, scoring six runs from the first to the top of the fourth inning and leaving Northwestern scoreless.

At the bottom of the fourth, the ’Cats stepped it up with a single from first-year designated hitter Griffin Mills who sent Arnone to home plate. Purdue answered in the fifth inning with two home runs from fourth-year catcher Conner Caskenette and fourth-year third baseman Jo Stevens.

McElfatrick hit a home run in the bottom of the fifth, sending third-year left fielder Preston Knott home. The game was held 8-3, with the ’Cats struggling to catch up.

Purdue scored two at the top of the seventh, but Northwestern had a last push to gain the lead. Second-year first baseman Trent Liolios hit a homer to send McElfatrick home in the bottom of the seventh. Knott singled to send Mill home at the bottom of the eighth, but still trailing, the ’Cats lost 10-7.

Sunday at 1 p.m. the ’Cats struggled to keep up with Purdue, who scored 11 runs to Northwestern's three. Markinson hit a home run in the bottom of the fourth, sending home McElfatrick. Again in the bottom of the eighth, Markinson sent McElfatrick home off of a grounded hit.

The ’Cats played and lost a tough battle on Tuesday at the University of Illinois-Chicago (28-13, 11-7 MVC). This weekend they travel to the University of Iowa (25-17, 10-8 B1G) for a series against the Hawkeyes.