Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Baseball: Late-game pitching dooms Northwestern in 17-8 NIU loss

Daily file photo by Shun Graves
Sophomore infielder Trent Liolios draws a walk in a game earlier this season. Liolios mashed a three-run home run in the first inning of Tuesday’s contest.

Tuesday’s forecast started strong –– a high of 56 degrees, partly cloudy –– before storm clouds rolled in, causing downpours interspersed with pockets of sun and gusts of wind.

The same can be said about Northwestern’s 17-8 loss to Northern Illinois: The Wildcats (10-12, 0-0 Big Ten) started hot, fell cold, got hot again and then couldn’t stay warm as the Huskies (9-16, 5-4 MAC) mounted their offensive counterattack. 

After graduate student pitcher Jack Dyke punched a scoreless first frame, the NU offense revved its engines. Sophomore infielder Owen McElfatrick drew a walk and junior catcher Bennett Markinson drove him in with a single to center field. 

Then, with runners on first and second, sophomore infielder Trent Liolios uncorked a rocket home run to right field to punctuate a 4-0 first-inning for the ’Cats.

The squads traded runs in the second inning before the Huskies bit back. NU allowed two runs in both the third and fourth innings and another in the fifth. At the top of the sixth inning, NIU center fielder JP Gauthier smashed a double to left center to take a 7-6 lead, the Huskies’ first of the afternoon.

Despite facing a significant momentum shift, the ’Cats didn’t go down without a fight. At the bottom of the seventh, on the heels of singles from Markinson and Liolios, freshman utility player Will Johnson poked a grounder in the gap between first and second to knot the game at 7-all. 

It may have been raining cats and dogs earlier, but through the final two frames, it was all Huskies. NIU poured in four runs in the eighth and six in the ninth to extend its lead to 17-7.

Although NU added a consolation run at the bottom of the ninth thanks to a bases-loaded walk by senior infielder Tony Livermore, the ’Cats couldn’t claw into an insurmountable deficit and fell 17-8.

NU will remain at Rocky and Berenice Miller Park Friday as they embark on a weekend series against Nebraska to start conference play.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @HenryFrieman

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