Northwestern (13-29, 4-11 Big Ten) entered the weekend on a three-game winning streak, but was stumped by a surging Ohio State team. The Buckeyes (31-10, 12-3) swept the Wildcats, besting NU 9-2 on Friday and taking a pair of games in a Sunday doubleheader by 6-3 and 5-2.
The series opener Friday was the first Big Ten game at the newly renovated Rocky Miller Park in Evanston, which reopened Tuesday when the Cats knocked off Milwaukee. Senior pitcher Brandon Magallones started against the Buckeyes on Friday afternoon and gave up 7 runs in four innings of work as miscues in the field doomed the Cats, with 5 of the Buckeyes’ 9 runs being unearned. Seniors Kyle Ruchim and Scott Heelan each had a pair of hits in the loss.
A rainy Saturday canceled the teams’ game, which was rescheduled for Sunday morning, setting up the doubleheader.
In the early game Sunday, Ohio State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning and led throughout. Junior first baseman Zach Jones led the Cats with three hits. Junior Matt Portland started and was credited with the loss, pitching six innings and allowing three earned runs.
Junior Reed Mason started for the Cats in the second game of the day and pitched 8.2 innings, allowing just two runs, one of which was earned. Although Mason pitched a gem, the Cats’ offense sputtered for most of the afternoon. NU scored a pair of runs in the second inning, but was otherwise quiet.
The Cats and the Buckeyes finished nine innings locked in a 2-2 tie. After a scoreless 10th, Ohio State plated 3 in the top of the 11th. NU was unable to answer in the bottom of the inning, going down 1-2-3.
The Cats will look to bounce back against Chicago State on Wednesday at Rocky Miller Park.
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