In Northwestern’s inaugural appearance at historic Wrigley Field, the Wildcats made it a night to remember on Saturday as they blanked the top team in the Big Ten, the Michigan Wolverines, 6-0 under the lights, scoring 6 runs off 7 hits.
The 4,197 fans that came to Wrigley Field witnessed a brilliant performance by senior Wildcat Luke Farrell from the hill as he had the game of his life on the biggest stage. Farrell yielded a mere 3 hits, fanned a whopping nine batters, hurled a complete game on 90 pitches, and struck out almost a third of the batters he faced. Farrell is now 2-2 on the season.
“The pitching coach said it was the best he’s seen me throw, so I’ll take his word for it,” Farrell said. “I’m just glad we came out of here with the win.”
NU got the final score it wanted, but this game was about more than just the scoreboard.
“This is the biggest game of my career,” senior Zach Morton said. “I grew up always wanting to play at Wrigley field; this is a dream come true for me.”
Morton made the most of his dream, going 3 for 4 from the plate, driving in two runs on two doubles, and also adding a single.
The Wildcats got on the board right off the bat. In the bottom of the first, Morton rocketed a double to left center scoring Trevor Stevens from first.
In the third, the Wildcats tacked on two more runs. Morton roped another double down the third baseline allowing Kyle Ruchim to cross the plate. Then Jack Havey extended his hitting streak to nine games with an RBI bloop single down the first base line driving in Morton to make it 3-0 after three innings.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Wildcats broke the game open thanks to RBI’s from Ruchim, Stevens, and Colby Everett. Everett also extended his hitting streak to ten games.
Farrell still had some gas in the tank in the top of the ninth, fanning out 2 of the final 3 batters of the game, including an emphatic strikeout to end the game.
“This is nothing like our guys have experienced before,” coach Paul Stevens said. “They played unbelievably. It was mesmerizing to watch.”
The Wildcats are back at it tomorrow when they take on the Wolverines for a doubleheader in Evanston. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. in the friendly confines of Rocky Miller Park.