After COVID-related issues both put the Northwestern Baseball on pause and lead to some on-field struggles for the team this month, the ‘Cats were able to take two out of three games from Iowa this weekend at home inside Miller Park, winning their final home series of the 2021 season.
Friday was a day to forget, as the ‘Cats just barely avoided a shutout defeat due to a home run from Junior Anthony Calarco, as they ultimately fell 6-1 to the Hawkeyes.
Saturday was Senior Day, and it proved to be a good one for the ‘Cats. In the first inning, Redshirt Junior David Dunn quickly put Northwestern up 3-0 with an RBI double, and though Iowa responded with some offensive spurts of their own, Northwestern was able to win 5-4, snapping their losing streak of eight games.
Graduate Student Hank Christie also tabbed a solid start, pitching five innings with no earned runs and five strikeouts.
On Sunday, NU’s powerful offense offered another example of why they still lead the Big Ten in home runs, even with two weeks off due to COVID.
Junior Shawn Goosenberg tallied his 12th home run in the first inning, followed soon after by a two-run shot from Junior Michael Trautwein to put the ‘Cats up 3-0 early. Iowa was able to add three in the fourth inning to come within one, but Trautwein answered right back with his second two-run home run of the game, bringing the score to 6-3.
However, the game would be tied soon enough heading into in the bottom of the seventh , as a balk and an RBI double in the sixth, as well as an RBI single in the seventh helped Iowa make it a 6-6 ballgame.
After two scoreless innings for both teams, Calarco stepped up to the plate at the bottom of the ninth for a leadoff walk. Next, Goosenberg hit a two-run walkoff home run to seal the victory for Northwestern. This was his 13th home-run this season, and his third walk-off of the season.
After losing their first two matchups with the Hawkeyes this season, the ‘Cats took this bounce back series in dramatic fashion. This also marked their first series victory since March 28, when they won two of three against Illinois.
Northwestern will be back in action for one final series to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes next weekend in Columbus.