Northwestern College handed Nebraska Wesleyan their first two conference losses of the season as the Red Raiders defeated the Prairie Wolves 3-2 and 12-2 in the GPAC opener for both teams on Monday (Mar. 28) at NWU Field in Lincoln, Neb.
Game one was played in cold overcast conditions, while the second game took place with snow falling the entire game.
NWU had a chance to win the first contest in the bottom of the seventh inning. Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, NWU got a leadoff walk and two straight singles to load the bases with one out. Jake Thompson hit a hot shot past the third baseman to drive in Tyler Vrba to pull NWU within one run. Next up was the Prairie Wolves top batter Josh Ostrom who already had two hits on the day. Ostrom hit a fielder's choice to first base, then Beau Kelly grounded out to end the game leaving the bases loaded.
Northwestern got ahead 1-0 in the second, before NWU tied the game in the fourth. Ostrom doubled then pinch runner Jason Janata moved to third on a sacrifice and scored on a throwing error by the pitcher. The Red Raiders added another run in the top of the fifth and a very important insurance run in the top of the seventh. A pair of errors on the same batter allowed Northwestern to build the two run lead.
Besides going 2-4 at the plate, Ostrom also took the loss on the mound going six innings allowing nine hits and two earned runs with five strikeouts. Jake Thompson also went 2-4 for NWU.
Game two started out promising for Nebraska Wesleyan as they got out to a 1-0 lead after an RBI double by Ostrom in the top of the first.
However, the game continued to get worse for the Prairie Wolves as the snow picked up during the second game. The NWU defense committed eight total errors as Northwestern rolled to the 12-2 win.
After being held scoreless in the first two innings, the Red Raiders scored runs in each of the final five innings, including four the seventh. Northwestern piled up 12 hits, led by Davis Bloemendall who went 3-5.
Five different players got one hit for NWU. Justin Van Dyke was the first of five pitchers used for the Prairie Wolves and took the loss going 3 2/3 innings allowing four earned runs.
NWU is scheduled to play a makeup game against Dordt College on Tuesday, but that is in doubt due to the weather.