Northwestern fell to Ohio State 6-2 to in game three and dropped the series 2-1 in a hard-fought series. Both games came down to the final two innings, and the Cats let both contests slip away in the final innings.Credit the Buckeyes for mustering late inning runs, Northwestern hung tough in both games but couldn’t quite get it done.
Game two was Senior Day for Northwestern. The five seniors, Jack Havey, Zach Morton, Trevor Stevens, Luke Farrell, and Colby Everett were honored before the game. All five seniors have accomplished much during their phenomenal careers at Northwestern, and have turned in solid performances this season.
Game two was tied 3-3 heading into the top of the ninth. The closer, Kyle Ruchim, took the mound and issued a leadoff walk, then fanned the next batter. The next batter roped a single through the left side of the infield, which the sprawling Trevor Stevens couldn’t corral. After a Buckeye stole second, the scenario was a runner on 2nd and third, 1 out. Buckeyes’ Aaron Gretz smashed the ball to second which Zach Morton was unable to haul in as the ball trickled to the outfield, allowing two Buckeye runs to cross the plate to make it 5-3.
Buckeye closer Trace Dempsey came in and threw 93 mph gas, which the Cats’ couldn’t get a bat on, and the Buckeyes took game two.
Game three was eerily similar. Zach Morton had a fine game, and pitched like Ironman tossing almost a full 8 innings. For the game, Morton hurled 7.1 innings, gave up a mere 4 hits, fanned 3 batters and surrendered 3 runs. In actuality, Morton only gave up 1 run because the other 2 should have been charged to Ruchim.
Going into the top of the eighth the Cats were up 2-1. Two Buckeye runners got on then Morton made a nifty scoop on a groundball and lasered a throw to third to get the lead runner. Then Coach Stevens thought this was the time to bring in the closer sensing the Buckeyes momentum and Morton was relieved by Ruchim.
The first batter Ruchim faced was Kirby Pellant a dangerous lefty with power and owner of the Buckeyes highest batting average. Pellant turned on a second pitch slider and jacked it out of the park over the left field wall for a 3 run homer. The crowd fell silent as the Buckeyes went up 4-2. The Cats’ would give up another run making it 5-2 going into the bottom of the eighth.
Buckeye reliever Brett McKinney came in the ballgame looking like Cubs old reliever Rob Beck, and threw straight cheese like him too, topping 95 on the radar gun. Morton came up big though and got a single to center, but the Cats’ left him stranded.
The Buckeyes tacked on another insurance run in the ninth making it 6-2.
The Buckeyes brought in another reliever, and after a Jack Livingston walk, the Cats grounded into a game-ending double play.