Fall Report: NorthwesternFall Report
EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern lost seven conference games by one or two runs in 2019 and fell one conference win shy of the Big Ten tournament. Then, the Wildcats watched as Ohio State, a team they had swept on the road and one of the three teams that finished tied a game in front of them, won the conference’s automatic bid.
When Michigan later went to the national championship series, it was an eye opener and motivation for the Wildcats.
“The biggest thing is when [our] guys look at our league, I think they’re finally starting to believe that the line is so thin, right?” Northwestern head coach Spencer Allen said. “People ask has Michigan’s run helped you? And I said yes, but probably not in the way you would think. It’s helped us because it’s helped our guys realize how close they are.”
Added depth to the front line of their pitching staff and an improved ability to drive the ball has Allen believing the Wildcats have a roster capable of getting Northwestern over the hump to its first winning season since 2000 after falling two wins shy twice in the last three years.
The Wildcats return 10 of their top 11 pitchers this season and have added a couple of arms they believe will be immediately thrust into important roles. But this fall, four of their top-end pitchers were on the shelf. Quinn Lavelle, Ryan Bader and Hank Christie, who each started at least six games and pitched more than 30 innings last year, as well as USC transfer righthander Tyler Uberstine were limited or held out for minor, precautionary reasons to make sure they are ready to go in the spring.
Allen and his staff didn’t get to see much of Uberstine during the fall, but they are excited about the potential and believe he could be a weekend starter.
Check out our full Northwestern fall report below!