April 13, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, IN — The Iowa baseball team won its first Big Ten series against Indiana at the wet Sembower Field, 10-5 Sunday afternoon. Iowa took back the lead in the eighth and never looked back en route to its season-best third straight victory. In the win, the Hawkeyes took advantage of four Hoosier errors. The game, which was delayed an hour at the start due to rain, featured six Hawkeye pitchers.
To lead the hot hitting Hawkeyes was Kurtis Muller, who went 2-for-3 with four RBI. He had a home run, a single and a stolen base. Kody McManis continued to swing the bat well, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Caleb Curry was 2-for-3 and scored four runs. Eight different Hawkeyes recorded hits in the win.
“Today was the best team effort we have had all year,” said Iowa Head Coach Jack Dahm. “The energy in the dugout was back and our guys had fun this weekend. We showed a lot of grit both offensively and on the mound today. We only had 11 hits on the score board, but we kept hitting bullet after bullet. We took it to them every time we stepped into the box.”
With the game tied up, 5-5, Iowa rallied in the eighth. Curry took one for the team to reach base and start the Iowa rally. Muller laid down his sixth sac bunt to move Curry into scoring position. One batter later, T.J. Cataldo was intentionally walked to put runners on first and third. McManis made the Hoosiers pay with an RBI single through the right side to take the lead. Justin Brauer hit the ball in play and made the Indiana defense work, reaching on an error and picking up an RBI, to make it a 7-5 Hawkeye ballgame.
Iowa added insurance runs in the ninth, to make it 10-5. The inning started with a Kyle Riffel walk, Justin Toole then reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners on first and second. Hot hitting Curry continued to swing the bat well with a single through the left side to tie it up. Ryan Gryzwa, in his first at bat of the game, came up big with a single up the middle to score two. Wes Freie moved the runners over with a sac bunt. With runners on second and third, McManis walked to load the bases. Iowa added another run on a balk by reliever Eric Arnett.
Matt Mossey, in his first start of the season, threw five solid innings to keep the Hoosiers at bay. He allowed only two runs on three hits with four strikeouts. The Hawkeye bullpen featured George Rasiarmos, Jason Belk, Nick Erdman, Kyle Heim and Andrew Porter.
“Matt (Mossey) set the tone at the start of the game and did a tremendous job,” Dahm said. “It allowed us to setup our bullpen for the rest of the game. I can’t say enough of how Matt and the rest of our staff threw today.”
The Hawkeyes (12-18, 4-8) took an early 2-0 lead in the second. Curry started things off for Iowa with a single up the middle. With one on, Muller got a hold of a Doug Fleener pitch and hit his second homer of the season to left.
Indiana (15-16, 4-8) came back in the bottom of the inning to tie it up 2-2. The inning featured an Ethan Wilson two-RBI single through the left side and a Hawkeye double play to end the inning and get out of a jam.
Iowa kept at it in the third and took back the lead, 5-2. Toole reached on a single through the left side. Curry continued things, hitting a deep ball to the wall that bounced out of a Kipp Schutz glove and reached second on the error. With runners on second and third, Muller picked up another two-RBI with a single to left. Muller then stole second and reached third on a throwing error by Josh Phegley. Wes Freie made the Hoosiers pay with a hard hit single to the third basemen to score Muller.
The Hoosiers came back to even it up in the sixth, 5-5. Indiana scored three on three hits, and faced three Hawkeye relievers. The inning featured Chris Hervey and Tyler Rogers RBI doubles.
Iowa is scheduled to take on Creighton at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, NE, on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
GAME SUMMARY Iowa 023 000 023 - 10 11 2Indiana 020 003 000 - 5 10 4
WP - Heim (2-1)LP - Fleenor (1-3)