Struggles at the plate, errors doom ‘Cats against UIC
A rough season in the field continued on Tuesday for the ‘Cats as Northwestern added two errors to bring its season total to 46, and the Wildcats fell to UIC for the second time this season, 7-0.
For the first two and a half innings, it looked like the ‘Cats and Flames might be in for a pitchers duel, but in the bottom of the third Northwestern got runners on first and second with two out and was threatening to score.
But in what may have been a game-changing play, UIC LF Scott Ota threw Zach Jones out at the plate, attempting to score on Joe Hoschiet’s single. And then in the top of the fourth, after Willie Bourbon’s throwing error with nobody on and two outs in the inning put UIC’s Conor Philbin on first, the Flames took advantage scoring four in the top of the fourth.
UIC followed that up with two more in the fifth, before scoring their final run of the game in the eight. Philbin led the Flames, going 2 for 4 with two hits, one walk and a strikeout. Ota added two hits, two runs, one walk and three RBIs for the Flames as well.
The Wildcats never came closer to scoring than they did in the bottom of the third, struggling at the plate all day against UIC’s pitching, with just four hits and six baserunners. Jones had the best afternoon of all Wildcat batters, going 2 for 4 with two singles.
Freshman Danny Katz, who came on to pitch the third and fourth innings, took the loss. Katz gave up four runs in the fourth inning, all of which were unearned. For the Flames, Reid Birlingmair picked up his first win of the season, pitching a scoreless fifth inning.
With the loss, Northwestern drops to 7-22 (1-5 B1G) on the season. The Wildcats head to Nebraska this weekend for a three-game set with the Huskers, who sit at 19-9 and 5-1 in the Big Ten.