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The Northerner

Pitchers shutdown Knights’ offense in double-header

Matt Birkholtz

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Norse fans had to be pleased with the game play of the Northern Kentucky University Baseball Team, sweeping rival Bellarmine University in a double-header March 20 at Champion Window Field.

NKU starting pitcher Josh Lueke pitched a complete game, 3-0 shutout. Lueke (1-3) threw nine innings, giving up six hits, no walks and striking out eight Knights batters. His superb pitching allowed the Norse offense to get moving, and they were able to string out eight hits in the ballgame.

The scoring began in the third inning, when designated hitter Kevin Dusold grounded out to shortstop, advancing Jake Shaffer from third base. NKU had a chance to break out in the inning, but were unable to cash with runners on the corners and Matt Wagers striking out at the plate to end the threat.

Shaffer was 2-for-4 in the game, adding another RBI in the top of the fifth inning, hitting a sacrifice fly out to centerfield. Kenny Wilson came in to score on the play.

NKU second baseman John Back also tagged two hits in the game going 2-for-5 with one run scored. Back’s defense also displayed good defense, compiling five assists on the field.

For the Knights, the opportunities came and went for them. In the third inning, third baseman Chris Wiedmar reached on a throwing error by NKU shortstop Patrick Muth, advancing to second base on the play. Second baseman Patrick Brady singled to right field moving Wiedmar to third. Lueke buckled down, getting the batter Rusty Farris to ground into a double play to end the inning.

Centerfielder Adam Chester led the Bellarmine Knights in hitting for Game 1, going 2-for-4. Chester providing what little offense BU had in the game, only knocking out six hits.

If this was a sign of good things to come for the Norse, lets hope that the pitching can hang in there in Game 2.

Norse starting pitcher Brian Beltz improved his record to 2-2 on the young season, hurling a complete game 2-0 shutout. The striking detail was that Beltz had control the entire game getting, ahead of all the BU batters. He finished the game with 12 strikeouts, only giving up one hit on the day and walking four.

Beltz’s best pitching came in the latter part of the game. In the seventh and eighth inning, he struck out six batters and walked one.

Bellarmine starting pitcher Ryan Morrison threw seven strong innings allowing two runs, three hits, one walk and striking out 10 Norse batters. His only downfall was the Knights not providing any offense.

NKU’s offense wasn’t too productive, but was able to get the job done.

Kory Lonergan, Back and Dusold produced the hits in the fourth inning, which led to the two runs for the victory. Lonergan started the inning off with a single to left center, followed by Back single to left center, advancing Lonergan to second.

Shaffer made a sacrifice bunt to advance Back and Lonergan. Dusold hit a single up the middle of the infield, driving in Lonergan. First baseman Evan McDole had a sacrifice fly to bring in Back, for the second and fnal run.

The sweep of the double-header from the Bellarmine Knights, improved NKU to a record of 6-13 overall, and 5-4 in Great Lakes Valley Conference. After early struggles by the Norse, it looks like the tides are changing.

NKU will hit the road for a four-game series against Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, starting March 23 at 7p.m at Roy Lee Field.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Pitchers shutdown Knights’ offense in double-header