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: Iowa hands Northwestern third consecutive series sweep

Junior+catcher+Bennett+Markinson+celebrates+hitting+a+triple.+Markinson+had+three+hits+in+Northwesterns+three+losses+to+Iowa+this+weekend
Daily file photo by Henry Frieman
Junior catcher Bennett Markinson celebrates hitting a triple. Markinson had three hits in Northwestern’s three losses to Iowa this weekend

Despite close games on Friday and Sunday, Northwestern dropped its third consecutive Big Ten series sweep against Iowa.

The Wildcats (13-30, 2-16 Big Ten) took on the Hawkeyes (28-18, 13-8 Big Ten) in a weekend that yielded some positive takeaways despite the losing skid.

The series opener was the lowest scoring game of the weekend for NU. 

Coach Ben Greenspan’s squad had life early on in the game, scoring two runs in the first inning. After junior utility player Preston Knott and junior catcher Bennett Markinson got on base to start the game, a first-year outfielder Jackson Freeman sacrifice fly brought home the leadoff man. 

In the subsequent at bat, graduate student outfielder Griffin Arnone singled to right field to score Markinson, giving the ’Cats an early two-run advantage.

The Hawkeyes responded in the bottom of the frame as Iowa infielder Davis Cop reached on an error with two outs in the inning before catcher Reese Moore doubled to right-center field to score a run and cut NU’s lead in half.

Both squads then went quiet for the next six innings. Senior pitcher Luke Benneche started on the mound for NU and threw five scoreless innings, amounting to one of his best outings of the year. 

Senior pitcher Matt McClure came in to relieve Benneche, throwing three scoreless innings before both teams found momentum in the eighth. 

Sophomore infielder Trent Liolios singled in the top of the inning to bring home senior infielder Tony Livermore, but the Hawkeyes mustered a response substantial enough to win the game. 

With two outs in the bottom of the inning, Iowa notched four consecutive hits, enough to score three runs and take the lead and eventually the victory, with a 4-3 final score. 

The ’Cats faced Iowa ace and projected MLB first-round draft pick Brody Brecht in Saturday’s contest. Brecht pitched eight innings for the Hawkeyes, allowing one run on two hits and tallying 13 strikeouts. 

Graduate student pitcher Jack Dyke started the game with four scoreless innings for NU, but the bullpen did not find the same success, allowing nine runs in the back half of the game. 

NU entered Sunday looking to avoid dropping its third consecutive sweep. 

The Hawkeyes jumped out to an early lead, scoring two runs in the first two innings. The ’Cats, though, found life in the middle innings of the game. After sophomore infielder Owen McElfatrick singled to load the bases in the fifth inning, Markinson walked in the next at-bat to score NU’s first run of the game, making the score 2-1.

A two spot in the sixth for NU was wiped away after Iowa scored three in the bottom of the frame before the ’Cats tied the game at five apiece with a seventh-inning rally.

Markinson and Freeman singled to open the frame. After a Liolios strikeout, Arnone roped a double to right field to score Markinson, and senior infielder Vince Bianchina hit a sacrifice fly to straightaway center, allowing Freeman to score. 

The stalemate persisted four innings beyond regulation courtesy of strong relief performances by first-year pitcher Garrett Shearer and Iowa senior pitcher Jack Young.

The decisive blow wouldn’t be dealt until the 13th inning, when Iowa’s clutch two-out hitting sealed the NU loss. Hawkeye infielder Michael Seegers doubled to right-center field to put the winning run in scoring position before the hosts walked it off in the next at-bat as Kellen Strohmeyer’s single to left-center field scored Seegers. 

Despite prime opportunities to take games from the series, the ’Cats were unable to finish what they started. 

NU will now look ahead to midweek matchups against Eastern Illinois and Milwaukee before taking on Ohio State in its penultimate conference series. 

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