Baseball starts season with loss; 3 more games this weekend

Saty Reddy

The 2002 baseball season started on a bad note for Northwestern, as the Wildcats dropped their opening game 5-1 to the Portland Pilots.

Shortstop Travis Hanson drove in two runs for Portland with a triple and a first-inning home run.

Catcher Ken Padgett had the Cats’ lone RBI with a double that drove in pitcher Dan Konecny.

NU pried seven innings out of starter Zach Schara, who struck out three but could not out-duel Kyle Corra. The Pilots right-hander scattered five hits and had no walks to snag the victory.

Portland’s Zach Yarbrough pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief to earn the save.

The Cats’ biggest problem of the night was leaving runners on base. They had three fewer hits than the Pilots but left eight men on base and brought home just the one run.

With three more games on the slate this weekend, the Cats will have a chance to bounce back. Last year they reeled off three wins after dropping the opening game in the same tournament.

Tonight and Saturday afternoon, NU will face Washington. Right-hander Gabe Ribas will take the mound for NU in the first game.

Sunday the Cats get a chance at revenge as they face Portland once more, before heading to Albuquerque, N.M., for a three-game series against New Mexico next weekend.