Baseball: Erro and Dunn lead Northwestern to victory against Chicago State

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Baseball: Erro and Dunn lead Northwestern to victory against Chicago State

Jack Dunn swings the ball. The senior collected his 200th career hit in Tuesday’s win over Chicago State.

Jack Dunn swings the ball. The senior collected his 200th career hit in Tuesday’s win over Chicago State.

Peter Warren/Daily Senior Staffer

Jack Dunn swings the ball. The senior collected his 200th career hit in Tuesday’s win over Chicago State.

Peter Warren/Daily Senior Staffer

Peter Warren/Daily Senior Staffer

Jack Dunn swings the ball. The senior collected his 200th career hit in Tuesday’s win over Chicago State.

Greg Svirnovskiy, Reporter

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Head coach Spencer Allen’s favorite walk-up song is Travis Scott and Kid Cudi’s “Through the Late Night,” though not necessarily due to its long melodies and wistful tones. Allen said he likes it because it means his star, senior shortstop Jack Dunn, is coming up to bat.

“I don’t even know what the song is,” Allen said. “But I just have a good feeling when his is coming up.”

It makes sense. Dunn is batting .393 on the season, and has reached base in over half of his plate appearances. He continued that Tuesday, hitting 2-for-3 and collecting his 200th career hit in Northwestern’s 11-6 victory over Chicago State.

The win was the Wildcats’ fifth in a row. Junior designated hitter Alex Erro finished with two hits — including a two-run moonshot — and a team-leading four RBIs.

NU (11-13, 1-2 Big Ten) fell behind early, as the Cougars (7-18, 2-3 WAC) went up by three runs off of two hits in the top of the first inning. The Cats quickly responded, as Erro’s first-inning home run brought the home side to within one.

“That’s huge, when you look at the ball game, you take control,” Allen said. “Hitting, everything becomes a little bit easier, you can take some more chances defensively, and pitching wise, you can challenge a little bit more.”

From there, NU’s offense erupted, as Erro and freshman catcher Jack Anderson each recorded singles in the second inning to help give the Cats a 7-3 lead. They didn’t look back, scoring again in the third, fourth and seventh innings, controlling the matchup throughout.

NU received quality outings from relief pitchers senior Danny Katz and junior Matt Gannon, who each gave up one run. Katz in particular pitched three straight hitless innings from the fourth to the sixth frame. The Winnetka native earned his second win of the campaign and the fifth of his career.

Dunn’s milestone hit came with NU up 10-5 in the seventh inning when he launched a blooper to the shortstop and made it safely to first. Dunn said he learned how close he was to 200 last night, when his dad texted him that he only needed two hits to reach the mark.

“That’s something that, coming in as a freshman, I wanted to do because I knew that was kind of a thing in college baseball,” Dunn said. “It’s awesome because you work so hard. I’ve been working since I was two years old, trying to reach milestones like this.”

For the past two seasons, he’s kept his walk-up song the same. His teammates aren’t big fans of the 2016 bop, he said, and they’ve lobbied for him to change it.

But Dunn won’t abandon the melodic tune. He’s locked in when he hears the song’s trademark hum, ready for his turn at the plate. It’s worked. Dunn has the best batting average in the Big Ten and he leads the team in hits, runs and RBIs.

“I hear that humming when I go up to the box, I’m like ‘I’m here I’m here,’ so, yeah I like it,” Dunn, a fierce defender of the song, said. “I’m not much of a rap guy, to be honest. But something about that song just puts me in a good place.”

Email: gregorysvirnovskiy2022@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @GSvirnovskiy

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