Baseball: Cats drop four to Iowa and Maryland, up losing streak to five games

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Daily file photo by Joshua Hoffman

David Dunn prepares for the pitch. The junior and Georgia native hit his second home run of the season against Iowa Monday.

Lawrence Price, Reporter


Baseball


Northwestern baseball struggled against Big Ten foes over the weekend, dropping four contests and extending their losing streak to five.

The Wildcats (12-16, 12-16 Big Ten) couldn’t secure a victory against Maryland and Iowa, losing two games to the Terrapins (16-13, 16-13 Big Ten) and two against the Hawkeyes (18-11, 18-11 Big Ten).

“You gotta give it to both Iowa and Maryland,” sophomore pitcher Jack Dyke said. “They came out and they strung a good nine innings together. I think both teams were able to wait up there and pick the pitches they wanted to hit.”

Friday’s meeting was a pitcher’s duel between junior pitcher Mike Doherty and Maryland pitcher Logan Ott. But the two have experienced drastically different seasons thus far. Doherty, who as a freshman appeared in 13 games, has thrown the most innings for the Cats, while Ott, a freshman, took the mound for the first time this season Friday.

NU struck first on Friday when freshman center fielder Ethan O’Donnell doubled in the second inning, allowing graduate right fielder Leo Kaplan to score. This gave the Cats a 1-0 lead entering the third — but they couldn’t hold on to it for long. Maryland stormed back with a rally of its own and put two runs on the board.

“Physical errors are going to happen,” coach Spencer Allen said. “Unfortunately, this weekend we had a couple mental lapses, and those just led to bigger innings that ultimately did not allow us to win.”

After the third inning, no one was able to cross the plate for the rest of the game, even though NU runners were in scoring position in the eighth and ninth. The final score stayed 2-1.

Saturday’s matchup involved more scoring for the two teams, but it still ended in a 9-7 loss for the Cats. NU out-hit Maryland 12-9, led by Kaplan and junior shortstop Shawn Goosenberg three hits each, alongside O’Donnell full-count home run. Despite this effort, the Terrapins’ three-run first and fifth innings pushed them over the top.

O’Donnell said he spent a lot of time with coach Charlie Tilson going over his approach in preparation for the weekend. He said having someone “fresh out of the big leagues” like Tilson was helpful for his game.

The freshman finished with his best weekend of the season to date, hitting .385 with three home runs and six RBIs. O’Donnell credited teammates like Goosenberg and Kaplan for helping him find his groove.

“Those guys have stepped up big,” O’Donnell said. “They pick me up when I am down so it is definitely a big bonus to have experience surrounding me.”

The Cats did not have a strong outing against Iowa on Sunday. The Hawkeyes came ready to play, collecting 18 hits over 15 runs.

Although he threw a scoreless, hitless first inning, senior pitcher Quinn Lavelle struggled to find his rhythm the rest of the game, ultimately allowing nine earned runs.

Unlike Sunday’s game, NU came out hot on Monday, jumping to a 3-0 lead in the second inning. However, Iowa started climbing back as the inning closed, leading to a back and forth battle between the two squads.

This went all the way to the top of the ninth, when Goosenberg hit a single and junior first baseman Anthony Calarco scored to give the Cats the lead 9-8. The Hawkeyes responded, however, with a three-run walk off home run to put the nail in the coffin for the Cats.

NU hosts Michigan and Illinois next week, two teams they faced earlier in the season, and look at it as their chance to get back on track, O’Donnell said.

“We felt like we should have come out of there with two wins (against Michigan), and same for Illinois,” O’Donnell said. “We thought we could have swept there as well. Everyone is looking forward to this series, to proving something and just getting back on the right page.”

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