NU falls in opener

The Northwestern baseball team opened its Big Ten season on a down noteFriday, losing 5-0 to Illinois at Rocky Miller Park. The Cats fell to 13-8, 0-1Big Ten; Illinois improved to 16-7, 4-1.

It was a closer game than the score indicated. In the top of the sixthinning, an untimely error and a botched strikeout helped the Fighting Illinibreak a scoreless tie and put four runs on the board off Wildcat starter ZachSchara (3-2), who had pitched masterfully until that point.

In the seventh inning, Schara allowed the game’s final run. He was replacedby Ryan Bos and Jake Briskman, each of whom pitched a scoreless inning to finishthe game.

Illinois starter Jason Anderson (5-1) silenced the Cats’ bats, tossing acomplete-game two-hitter with six strikeouts. The two teams will meet for adoubleheader starting at noon Saturday.