Northwestern baseball was unable to carry over the momentum from its two-win weekend for Tuesday’s home opener against UIC. The Wildcats (2-9) fell 9-2 to the UIC Flames (5-6) in seven innings, as the game was cut short due to darkness.
Freshman lefty Matt Gannon made his third collegiate start for Northwestern, but struggled from the get-go. He gave up a pair of 1st inning runs and another in the 2nd before being lifted with one out for Tommy Bordignon, who didn’t fare much better.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats were held in check by Flames’ starter Jacob Key, who struck out five in his six innings. He allowed just two runs on five hits before Austin Smith and Mitchell Schulewitz set down Northwestern in the bottom of the 7th to close out the win.
Bordignon ate up 3 2⁄3 innings in relief of Gannon but gave up four runs, two of which came on a 3rd inning two-run double from UIC catcher Rob Calabrese that made it a 5-1 game. The Wildcats’ two runs — in the 2nd and 3rd — were scored on a Willie Bourbon sacrifice fly and Joe Hoscheit double play.
Tyler Lass pitched the final two innings for Northwestern, allowing a pair of runs. UIC managed to score at least one run in each of the seven innings played at Rocky and Berenice Miller Park on Tuesday afternoon.
Northwestern managed just six hits on the day, compared to 13 for the visitors. A notable problem was the lack of extra base hits for Spencer Allen’s team, as the only non-single was a pinch-hit double from freshman Kyle Burnett, Jr. Also, problems with runners in scoring position persisted, which has been an issue in most of the Wildcats’ weaker offensive outings this season.
The team heads back out west this weekend for a four-game series with Portland.