MIDLAND, MICH. – The Northwood University baseball team picked up a pair of matching 8-4 victories over Wayne State Saturday afternoon (April 23).
Northwood is now 19-17 overall, 9-9 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC). Wayne State, which entered the day on a six-game winning streak, falls to 21-16 overall, 13-7 in the GLIAC.
The victories moved Northwood from a tie for fifth all the way up to solo third place in the tightly contested GLIAC North Division standings.
Game one saw the Timberwolves get on the board in the first inning with a run. WSU responded with a pair of runs in the third inning, only to see the Timberwolves tie the game in the bottom of the inning. After the Warriors went up 4-2 after four innings, Northwood used big fifth and sixth innings to earn the victory in the seven inning contest. NU got a two-run homer from Cody Kuzniczci (Madeira, Ohio/Northern Kentucky) to tie the game in the fifth inning. The Timberwolves then put the game away in the sixth inning with four runs thanks to three hits and three walks. The Warriors were held off the board in the final three innings to give Northwood the win.
Both teams finished the game with eight hits. NU earned the win thanks to drawing twice as many walks (6-3) as WSU while the Warriors had the only four errors committed in the game.
Kuzniczci had a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs to lead the way for Northwood. Connor Foley (Bay City, Mich./Western/SVSU) had two hits, two runs scored and an RBI. Nick Black (Chesterfield, Mich./Grand Rapids CC) had two hits and an RBI for the Timberwolves. After a couple of tough innings, Brogan Fischer (Godfrey, Ill./Illinois Central CC)) finished strong to pick up the win on the mound. He went all seven innings, allowing eight hits and four runs while striking out five for his second win of the season.
Northwood also got on the board in the first inning of game two with a single run. WSU tied the game in the third inning, but the Timberwolves went back on top with a run in the fourth to lead 2-1 heading to the fifth. That is when NU broke the game open, plating five runs on four hits to go along with three walks. WSU got back into the game with a three-run sixth inning to make the score 7-4. The Timberwolves got the lead back up to four runs with a run in the sixth, which proved to be the final of the game.
Northwood held an 8-7 edge in hits in the game, while both teams had two extra base hits (two doubles each). It was NU's discipline at the plate that was a big part of the win – the Timberwolves drew 10 walks in the game while the Warriors had six. Both teams committed two errors which led to a total of seven unearned runs for the pitching staffs in the contest (WSU – four, NU – three).
Foley led the Northwood offense with three RBIs. Nick Barrientos (Zionsville, Ind./Danville Area CC) went 2-2 with a run scored and an RBI. Alex Lewandowski (Macomb, Mich./Dakota) picked up his fifth win of the season, allowing one earned run in 5 1/3 innings of work. Shawn Larner (Gladwin, Mich./Alma College) was outstanding out of the bullpen, allowing no runs on one hit in 3 2/3 innings to pick up his fifth save of the season.
Northwood and Wayne State will play another doubleheader Sunday (April 24). First pitch of game one is at Noon.