Baseball: Wildcats open new Rocky Miller Park with a win


Brian Lee/Daily Senior Staffer

Sophomore Joe Hoscheit watches a fly ball. Northwestern got plenty of baserunning practice Tuesday, crossing home plate nine times against Milwaukee.

Tim Balk, Reporter


Two months into the season, Northwestern finally has a true home win under its belt.

The Wildcats (12-26, 4-8 Big Ten) played their first game of the season at the newly renovated Rocky Miller Park on Tuesday. NU reopened the field in style, winning 9-5 against Milwaukee (22-13, 9-8 Horizon League).

On a chilly, blustery afternoon, the Cats’ bats brought some heat, rolling up 15 hits. Milwaukee utilized four pitchers and none had an answer for the NU offense. Each surrendered at least one earned run.

No bat was hotter than that of junior first baseman Zach Jones, who had a two-run home run in the first inning and finished the afternoon 3-for-5 at the plate.

“Today the wind was kind of working to our advantage, blowing out and everything,” Jones said. “It was kind of a crazy game, but you just need to put good at-bats together and do the best you can. Today it worked out for us.”

Jones’ two-run homer was part of a five run first inning that gave the Cats a 5-1 lead.

Milwaukee came back and tied the game at 5-5 in the top of the fifth, but NU took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning when Jones scored on a sacrifice fly from junior Jack Mitchell. Mitchell also hit a two run home run in the first inning.

Three Wildcats finished the afternoon with at least three hits.

“Just a good day for all of us,” Jones said. “We were just seeing it well, and we were able to put some hits up today.”

Freshmen pitchers Tommy Bordignon and Grant Peikert kept Milwaukee off the board in the final three innings of the game, with Bordignon pitching the seventh and eighth innings and Peikert pitching a hitless ninth. Sophomore Joe Schindler, who pitched 5.2 innings, was credited with the win. Senior Brandon Magallones started the game, but left after recording just one out. Magallones was set to start in the weekend series and was on a 20-pitch limit.

“Joe Schindler looked the same as he always looks to me: awesome,” coach Paul Stevens said. “Tommy looked even better, and Peikert looked extraordinary.”

The win is the second in a row for the Cats, who will play their next 10 contests in Evanston.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Jones said. “We’ve been waiting for this and we were so excited to finally get out here and play.”

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