Northwestern knocks out Michigan with 20-hit effort, earns fourth straight victory

Jonah Rosenblum

After exploding for a six-run seventh inning on Friday, Northwestern kept its bats warm Saturday in an 11-6 victory over Michigan.

The Wildcats pounded 20 hits out against a struggling Wolverines pitching staff, marking their second-highest total of the season. Eight NU players recorded multiple hits in the contest.

For all of the Cats’ offensive prowess, the Wolverines scored first, taking advantage of an error by junior shortstop Trevor Stevens to put a quick run across the plate.

But NU came right back in the bottom of the second, as a Michigan miscue helped the Cats mount a four-run rally, capped by a two-RBI double off the bat of senior third baseman Chris Lashmet.

The Cats added another run in the third on a blast by sophomore designated hitter Jack Havey, his fourth home run of the season.

While the Wolverines’ hurlers struggled throughout Saturday’s contest, junior right-hander Michael Jahns recovered from a shaky start to retire 10 straight Michigan hitters before running into trouble in the sixth inning.

The Wolverines loaded the bases off Jahns on two singles and a walk, but junior reliever Paul Snieder was able to work his way out of the jam with a sacrifice fly and a strikeout.

Meanwhile, the Cats kept hitting, taking an 11-3 lead into the ninth inning. A few sloppy plays helped the Wolverines muster a slight threat, but Snieder was ultimately able to record the final outs of the game.

With its second straight victory over Michigan, NU made gains on both teams it is chasing for the final spot in the Big Ten Tournament.

NU began the day a game behind both Penn State and Indiana, but the Nittany Lions lost Saturday, and the Hoosiers game was suspended due to darkness in the 12th inning, so the Cats are now in a three-way tie for seventh place, a half-game behind Indiana. Only the top six teams will make the postseason conference tournament.