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Baseball: Northwestern swept by Texas State, gives up 56 runs in three games

Not a great start to the Jim Foster Era.

Kevin Ferrer bats against Texas State on 2/19/23
Northwestern Baseball/@NUCatsBaseball

Northwestern baseball has started its season, traveling south to San Marcos, Texas to take on the Texas State Bobcats this past weekend. It marked the beginning of a new era for the ‘Cats as skipper Jim Foster donned the purple and white N on his cap for the first time; however, that may as well have been the highlight of the opening series for the Wildcats.

Northwestern was outscored 56-18 this weekend, including two games of the Bobcats pouring on 20+ runs. It was never going to be a quick turnaround for NU as a program, but this was not the first memory Foster was hoping to put in NU fans’ brains. Here is what transpired over the weekend in the Lone Star State.

Northwestern took the field on Friday night, full of hope and jubilation that comes with a new season. Michael Farinelli manned the bump for the Wildcats but could not quiet the Bobcats’ offense. In the bottom of the second, Ryan Leary took the Long Island native yard for a two-run home run and opened the floodgates for the rest of the series. Farinelli gave up five runs, four earned, in four innings while striking out three before Foster went to the bullpen in the fifth.

It did not get much better for the ‘Cats, as a slew of fielding mistakes brought in five runs, only one earned, for Texas State in the bottom of the seventh. NU scored its first runs of the year in the top of the eighth, when Alex Roessner smacked a single to right field, scoring Vincent Bianchina. Northwestern would tack on three more, including a two-run single for Cooper Foard, but its comeback fell way short, dropping the first game of the series 12-4.

As if allowing 12 runs was not high enough, NU could not hold the Bobcats in the teens for the remainder of the weekend.

Although the Wildcats struck first in Game Two, taking a 1-0 lead on a Griffin Arnone RBI single, the Bobcats quickly overtook the ‘Cats, stringing together five runs in the bottom of the third. The Texas State onslaught kept rolling, adding another five runs in the sixth and multiple three-plus run innings. Arnone was the Wildcats' main source of offense Saturday, adding a two-run homer in the sixth to finish the game with three RBIs on two hits, but Northwestern’s bats could not keep up. NU fell 20-5.

The Northwestern O woke up on Sunday; however, it could not keep pace with the scorching Bobcats’ offense. Texas State jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a two-run shot to right field from Jose Gonzalez in its first frame batting, and another long ball from Ryder Hernandez expanded the TSU lead to five after two innings.

The ‘Cats responded with a multi-run inning of their own, though. Stephen Hrustich ripped a triple to center field that scored two, and a single from Kevin Ferrer brought him home and cut the Bobcat lead to 5-3.

However, that would be the closest Northwestern got all day, as Texas State caught fire and exploded for a six-run fourth inning, even pushing a run across every ensuing inning as well. The icing on the cake was a grand slam by Chase Mora to give the home side a whopping 24-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth. To the Wildcats’ credit, they battled until the very end, scoring five runs in the top of the ninth, including an RBI double for Trent Liolios. It was far too late to salvage the game, though, as Northwestern was clobbered 24-9 and was swept in the opening series.

Northwestern returns to the diamond this weekend in the Carolinas, where it will face Gardner-Webb Friday at 3 p.m. CT in Boiling Springs, North Carolina. The Wildcats will then take on Presbyterian in Clinton, South Carolina Saturday at 1 p.m. as well as USC Upstate on Sunday at 12 p.m. from Spartanburg, South Carolina.