May 16, 2002
NKU FALLS TO SVSU, 9-6
Cardinals use 14-hit attack to defeat Norse
ASHLAND, Ohio - Eric Caldwell had three hits and three runs batted in Thursday as Saginaw Valley State University posted a 9-6 victory over Northern Kentucky University in the first round of the NCAA Division II North Central Regional Tournament.
Jay Scott added two hits and two RBI as Saginaw Valley State (36-10) advanced to the winners bracket of the double-elimination tournament. The Cardinals collected 10 hits and seven earned runs against NKU starter Lenny Bays, who lasted 3 1/3 innings on Thursday.
Caldwell hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to give Saginaw Valley State a 6-2 lead. Adam Piggott followed with another homer to center field, and the Cardinals held a 7-2 lead after four innings.
The Cardinals added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 9-2 advantage.
Jason Martin led the NKU offense with two hits and three RBI, but the Norse were unable to overcome the 9-2 deficit. NKU rallied for four runs in the seventh inning to chase Saginaw Valley State starter Heath Craven, but reliever Toby Larkin came out of the bullpen and held the Norse hitless the final 2 1/3 innings.
Steve Walton, Chris Osterkamp and Pat Eschan all finished with two hits for NKU, which dropped to 35-23. The Norse - ranked No. 20 nationally in the NCAA Division II poll - will face Grand Valley State University in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Friday.
NKU - which had won 17 of its last 20 games before Thursday - is the No. 2 seed in the North Central Regional.
NCAA II North Central Regional
at Ashland, Ohio
Thursday, May 16
Saginaw Valley State 9, NKU 6
Ashland 9, Grand Valley State 1
Friday, May 17
NKU vs. Grand Valley State, 10 a.m.
Saginaw Valley State vs. Ashland, 1 p.m.
Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 4 p.m.
Saturday, May 18
Winner Game 4 vs. Winner game 5, noon
(Game 7 if necessary, 3 p.m.