High-end production helps the NU Even series


EVANSTON, Ill. – The North West squad’s first four batters combined for a big day at the plate, driving in seven runs on 11 hits as the Wildcats beat Purdue baseball 11-1 to tie the crucial series in the tournament pursuit Big Ten.

With the top of the roster producing runs, Michael Farinelli pitched his third full game of the season for Northwestern (22-24, 8-12 B1G). Farinelli (5-5) faced just 32 batters while throwing 107 pitches. He only gave up six singles, striking out seven.

The Wildcats took an early lead scoring in the first, third and fifth innings thanks to the performance of Patrick Herrera, Anthony Calarco, Jay Beshears and Ethan O’Donnell. They all had multiple hits while combining for 11 hits and seven RBIs. Calcarco and Beshears homered back-to-back in the fifth inning. Calcarco connected for two-point shots on the opposite field on the left in consecutive innings.

Hitting in the 7th hole, Tommy D’Alise joined the surge with another two-run outburst in the seventh inning. All four homers were hit in the opposite field.

Alongside his 4-for-4 day at the plate, O’Donnell also made an impressive diving catch on the warning lane at center left to steal Mike Bolton Jr. an extra hit in the third inning.

by Evan Albrecht the stolen base in the second inning was Purdue’s 106th of the season, tying the team record set in 2000. North West wide receiver JC Santini kicked out Curtis Washington Jr. trying to steal the second to finish the start of the third and Albrecht trying to steal the third to finish the fifth. Washington was shot trying to steal for the first time this season in 30 attempts.

Those steals plus a double play helped NU starter Michael Farinelli face just nine batters in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Farinelli faced more than three batters in just two frames — second and sixth. The Boilermakers have not sent more than five batters to the plate in any frame.

Purdue (28-17, 8-10 B1G) loaded the bases with one out in the top of the sixth and broke the shutout, but was unable to produce the big inning he needed. Trojan Viola recorded his 40th RBI of the season with a groundout. NU shortstop Tony Livermore made a nice play at the bottom of the hole to retire Paul Toetz for the final with Bolton and Washington in second and third place.

Viola made a great catch in the eighth inning when he scaled the fence into foul territory along the third base line to trap a pop-up foul.

Cam Thompson was dropped from base for the first time this season, ending his 44-game scoring streak. This is the third longest streak on base by a Boilermaker in the past 20 years.

The series’ rubber game on Sunday has been moved to a first pitch at noon ET. The winner of Sunday’s game will take the inside track in one of the last spots at the Big Ten tournament entering the final week of the regular season.

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