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RANGERS TOPPLE ST. GREGORY’S 17-7ALVA, Okla. – Northwestern used an eight run sixth inning and 18 hits in the game, taking the first of a three-game set, winning 17-7 against St. Gregory’s at Myers Stadium on Thursday. The win advanced the Rangers to 28-18 overall and to 13-12 in the conference, two games out of fourth place.

The Rangers were victim to a 3-0 lead after the top of the first inning, as St. Gregory’s used a home run, two doubles and a single to go on top. Northwestern added a single run in the bottom of the first inning as Wade Schwerdtfeger reached on a double and scored on Chris Williams double.

Northwestern’s Zach Theademan reached on a single to left and was brought in on Richard Burdick’s single to the left side. Tom Huddleston jacked a three-run home run down the right field line to pull NWOSU to a 5-3 lead.

Both teams scored a single run in the third inning, putting the score to 6-4.

A leadoff home run and another run scored by St. Gregory’s in the fourth inning knotted the score at 6-6.

The Rangers pushed a run across in the fifth inning, but the Cavaliers answered with a solo run in the top of the sixth.

Northwestern erupted in the bottom of the sixth inning, tagging SGU for eight runs on six hits. Huddleston hit his second home run of the game to kick off the inning, followed by a Juan Natal grand slam and a solo shot from Richard Burdick.

Josh Swain sat down the Cavaliers in order in the top of the seventh, as Chris Williams’ second blast of the day and Natal’s triple to right drove in the game winning run.

Twenty-nine hits were present on the afternoon, as Northwestern was responsible for 18 of them, 10 being for extra bases. Williams picked up four hits and three runs batted in during five trips to the plate, with a pair of home runs, putting him in the team lead with 14. Natal and Jacob Walsh both had three hits each.

Swain (4-2) was awarded the win for Northwestern as he pitched 1.1 innings of relief of starter Danny Santiago. Swain allowed just one hit and fanned one. Santiago pitched 5.2 innings before being lifted in the sixth inning.

The Rangers (28-18, 13-12) will play the doubleheader that is left in the series at St. Gregory’s in Shawnee on Saturday, May 1. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.