May 1, 2004
IOWA CITY – The Hawkeyes (14-26, 7-11) swept the doubleheader with Northwestern (17-21-1, 6-12) on Saturday afternoon at Duane Banks Field. Iowa scored a 3-1 win in the opener behind a solid performance on the mound and the bats erupted for ten runs in the 10-4 victory for the sweep.
In the opener, the Hawkeyes used a three-run seventh inning and got another stellar outing by Nathan Johnson to defeat Northwestern and win their fourth straight Big Ten series opener.
Johnson continued to impress as he pitched his third straight complete game and notched his first shutout of the season. The senior righthander allowed eight hits and struck out six batters en route to his team leading fifth win of the season.
With goose eggs on the board, senior Mike Best provided the first offense of the day with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh. Best belted the 0-1 pitch to dead centerfield for his second long ball in as many games. Andy Cox then was hit by a pitch and stole second before Jeff Gremley legged out an infield single on a bunt down the third base line to put runners on first and third.
Wildcat starter Dan Brauer then intentionally walked Andy Lytle to bring designated hitter Jim Reid to the plate. Reid, who was 2-for-4 in the game, laced a two-run single through the left side of the infield to give the Hawkeyes the 3-0 advantage.
Brauer scattered three hits and struck out six batters over the first six innings before the Hawkeyes finally got to the Northwestern southpaw in the seventh. He struck out eight batters in the complete game.
In game two, Iowa starter Chris Maliszewski pitched the second complete game of the day to lead the Hawkeyes to the victory. The southpaw allowed two runs on eight hits and struck out four batters.
The Hawkeyes got things rolling in the bottom of the third off Wildcat starter J.A. Happ with three hits. Nate Yoho evened the game at 1-1 after he laced a two-out single just under the glove of a diving Josh Fields at second base to knock in L.J. Mims.
Iowa went to work for a second straight inning in the fourth. With one out, Best reached on an error by Northwestern third baseman Josh Lieberman and Andy Cox followed with a bunt single. Gremley lined the first pitch he saw to right field to knock in Best and Mims drove in the second run with a groundout to second base. Lytle stretched the Hawkeye lead to 3-1 on a RBI single to right field.
The Iowa bats kept on rolling as they batted around to break the game open with four runs in the fifth. Yoho singled to lead off the inning and stole second to move into scoring position. After a Kris Welker sacrifice bunt, Jesse Brownell laced an RBI double down the left field line. Best walked and Cox hit a grounder to third base that squirted off Lieberman’s glove into shallow left field to knock in Brownell from second base. After a Gremley groundout, Mims singled up the middle to knock in a pair of runs and extend the Hawkeye lead to 8-1.
Jon Mikrut tried to get the Northwestern bats going in the sixth as he led off the inning with a solo shot down the left field line to make the score 8-2.
Iowa pushed its lead to 10-2 with two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Cox singled through the left side to knock in Welker and Gremley followed with an RBI double down the left field line for his second hit of the game.
The Wildcats scored two runs in the seventh inning.
Northwestern jumped out to a 1-0 lead after one inning when Mikrut hit an RBI single through the left side to knock in Jason Krynski.
Gremley went 4-for-7 on the day with two runs and two RBIs.
The Hawkeyes and Wildcats will conclude the series with a doubleheader tomorrow. The first game, a seven-inning contest, will begin at 11 a.m. followed by the nine-inning finale that will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.