Baseball: Northwestern loses two of three in opening series against Nebraska-Omaha


Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Willie Bourbon and Nick Paciorek celebrate crossing the plate. The Wildcats didn’t do enough of that against Nebraska-Omaha this weekend, going 1-2 in the series.

Alan Perez, Assistant Campus Editor


Northwestern won just one of three games in its opening series of the year as the Wildcats showed up at the plate but failed to contain the Nebraska-Omaha bats.

The Cats (1-2) were swept by the Mavericks (2-1) in their opening doubleheader Saturday despite scoring 13 runs between the two games. NU’s pitching recovered Sunday, however, posting a shutout through eight innings and ultimately snatching the Cats a 3-1 victory.

Relief pitching ultimately failed NU on Saturday, despite early leads in both games.

In the first game, senior pitcher Tommy Bordignon allowed four hits and two walks in his appearance and was pulled after 2.2 innings. Though junior outfielder Ben Dickey and junior infielder Jack Dunn each hit well, going 2-for-5 and 3-for-5 respectively, Nebraska-Omaha overpowered the Cats, 14-8.

NU raced out to an early lead in the second game, led by a strong start by junior pitcher Danny Katz, but that advantage vanished when an unearned run in the seventh tied the game. The Cats were unable to catch up as the Mavericks put five more runs on the board throughout the final three innings to win 10-5.

But the Wildcats bounced back Sunday and held Omaha to just one run. Freshman pitcher Quinn Lavelle threw five scoreless innings in the first start of his college career, allowing just three hits and striking out five.

The Mavericks challenged NU’s lead in the top of the ninth, scoring their only run of the game on a wild pitch and loading the bases, but sophomore outfielder Kyle Burnett ultimately caught a long fly ball for the final out.

Productive at-bats backed up the strong pitching performance in the final day victory, but the Cats still did not meet expectations on the weekend, losing the series to a Nebraska-Omaha team that finished last year 3-21 in nonconference play.

The series was originally scheduled to start Friday, but flight cancellations shortened the series from four games to three. NU traveled Saturday morning to Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona, where the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox hold their spring training.

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