ALVA, Okla. – Northwestern completed a three-game sweep of Mid-America Christian, as Juan Natal used a walk off home run in game one and a walk off single in the 10-inning nightcap, lifting the Rangers to a pair of 9-8 wins at Myers Field on Saturday afternoon. The Rangers improved to 19-12 on the season and to 6-9 in conference.
In the first inning, MACU’s first three batters scored after the first four combined for three singles and a walk. Northwestern put up five runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning, highlighted by a two-run home run off the bat of Dustin Williams and a solo shot from Vincent Valdez.
The Rangers added two more insurance runs in the third to pull ahead by a 7-3 margin.
MACU posted a five-run inning of its own in the top of the fifth inning with all five runs coming off of home runs.
Natal’s solo shot to centerfield, his first home run of the season, got the Rangers the second win of the series.
Five Rangers had two hits, as Natal added three runs batted in. Tom Huddleston and Dustin Williams chipped in two RBI’s.
Mike Pratali (1-1) was awarded the win after pitching the final inning. Josh Swain started the game on the hill and was lifted for Jeremy Lawson after 4.2 innings of work.
Northwestern bombed the Evangels in game two in the hitting category, out-slugging the Evangels 23-13.
The Evangels again took a first inning lead, as their leadoff batter scored. Northwestern knotted the score at 1-1 as Natal singled in Quinton Haynes who was courtesy running for Wade Schwerdtfeger, who reached base on a fielder’s choice.
Northwestern scored a single run in the third inning and two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to take a 6-2 lead through five innings.
Mid-America tacked on four runs in the sixth inning to tie the game at 6-6. Both teams added a pair of runs in the seventh inning to force extra innings.
After two and a half innings of neither team scoring, Natal provided his second big blow of the day, scoring Chris Williams who led off the inning with a double down the left field line.
Tom O’Gorman and Natal both tied the single game record for most hits in a game with five hits each. Walsh added three hits and the Rangers first three hitters all posted two hits.
Garry Thomas pitched the final four innings to earn the win and advanced to 4-1 on the season. He fanned five batters and scattered four hits and didn’t allow a run. Calvin Wright started the game, pitching four innings.
Northwestern (19-12, 6-9) will play a nine-inning game against NCAA Division II East Central University on Tuesday, April 6 at David Allen Memorial Ballpark in Enid.
Sat, April 3, 2010
by Ryan Hintergardt