Baseball: Wildcats look to improve in second weekend series


Daily file photo by Kate Salvidio

Alex Erro watches a ball sail out of the park. The sophomore infielder and the Wildcats are in for a tough test at Kansas this weekend.

Alan Perez, Assistant Campus Editor


Last week’s series didn’t turn out exactly as expected. Northwestern dropped two of three in its series weekend opener, failing to contain middling Nebraska-Omaha’s offense despite showing up at the plate.

But the Wildcats (1-2) have another chance to prove their talent as they head to Kansas on Friday for a second weekend series.

NU will look to continue its momentum after bouncing back Sunday with a 3-1 win. The Cats, who have won three of 10 in previous contests against the Jayhawks (2-1), will open with freshman pitcher Quinn Lavelle on the mound.

Lavelle led the Cats to their first victory this year, allowing no runs and three hits in a five-inning performance. Sophomore pitcher Hank Christie and junior pitcher Danny Katz will follow Lavelle in their own starts this weekend. Katz gave up only one earned run in a five-inning start, but three unearned runs foiled an early lead for the Cats.

NU posted early leads last week, but relief pitching ultimately failed to hold on for wins. While the pitching struggled, the Cats’ hitting stepped up.

Despite a disappointing open last week, NU scored 13 runs in Saturday’s doubleheader, led by junior outfielder Ben Dickey and junior infielder Jack Dunn. Dickey hit 4-for-11 and Dunn went 4-for-12 last week, and the pair will look to continue productive at bats against Kansas.

The Jayhawks posted a 30-28 overall record last season and beat the Cats in their last contest in May 2015.

The weekend games are just three of 49 chances for NU to prove its talent this season. After its first Big Ten Tournament appearance in years, the Cats have expectations to repeat last season’s success.

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