May 4, 2008
IOWA CITY, IA – The Iowa Hawkeye baseball team dropped their final game against Minnesota Sunday at Duane Banks Field, 17-14, in 11 innings. The two teams combined for 31 runs, 32 hits in a contest that lasted 4:36 minutes. Today marked the highest scoring affair between the two teams since 1997 when the Hawkeyes lost 19-11 in Iowa City. This was the first Big Ten series the Hawkeyes have split this season.
A big seven-run seventh inning put the Hawkeyes back in the game to erase a nine-run deficit and tie it up 14-14. The seven-run frame marked the second time in a week that the Hawkeyes scored seven in one inning.
In the top of the 11th, which is the longest game Iowa has played all year, Jeff DeSmidt delivered with a Golden Gopher three-run shot to right center to, ultimately, give Minnesota the three-run triumph. In the bottom of the ninth, Justin Toole delivered with a leadoff single through the left side, however, Minnesota reliever Scott Matyas retired the next three Hawkeyes to secure his second win of the series.
Iowa played catchup in the seventh having only one ball hit out of the infield to tie up the ballgame 14-14. The Hawkeyes took advantage of six free bases and two consecutive wild pitches in the seven-run rally. It started with a leadoff walk drawn by Kyle Riffel. Ryan Gryzwa recorded the lone hit of the inning with a single to third base to put runners on first and third. One batter later, Zach McCool drew the second Hawkeye walk of the inning to load the bases. Justin Toole received an RBI after wearing a pitch and Caleb Curry drew a walk to plate another Hawkeye. Kurtis Muller drew yet another base on balls to bring in Toole followed by a Tyson Blaser walk to bring in the fifth Hawkeye run of the inning.
Eight batters recorded a hit and six recorded an RBI. The Black and Gold was led, offensively, by Blaser who went 3-for-4 with two RBI, two doubles, a run scored and two walks. Curry went 2-for-5 with two RBI, a walk, three runs scored, a double and a stolen base. Toole went 3-for-4 with two RBI, two walks, three runs scored and a hit-by-pitch. Muller had a season-high three stolen bases on the afternoon. As a team, Iowa collected 10 walks.
Iowa was without the services of Head Coach Jack Dahm after the top of the third inning. Dahm was ejected from the contest by first base umpire Mark Winters after arguing a call at first base.
The Hawkeyes (19-27, 8-16) struck first in the bottom of the first, plating three runs with aggressive base running. With one out, Toole got a base hit to the shortstop to record his 20th consecutive game with a hit. Curry bunted to the left side of the infield for another Iowa single. Muller hit the ball into play and reached on a throwing error by the third baseman and Toole scored on the wild throw. Muller stole second and Blaser delivered with a two-RBI double off the left field fence.
Minnesota (18-29, 8-16) chipped away at Iowa’s early lead, scoring one on three hits to make it 3-1. However, in the third, the Golden Gophers took a 6-3 lead. Three of the five were unearned; Minnesota took advantage of two Hawkeye errors in the inning. Minnesota also scored two in the fourth to add insurance and make it 8-3.
Iowa scored one in the bottom of the fourth to stay alive and make it 8-4. Blaser led off with his second double of the afternoon and two outs later, T.J. Cataldo walked to put runners on first and second. Kevin Hoef continued the Iowa offensive effort with a single to the shortstop.
The Golden Gophers added another five to the scoreboard to make it 13-4 in the fifth. The inning featured a Nate Hanson grand slam.
The Black and Gold continued to chip away in the bottom of the fifth, scoring one to make it 14-5. With one-out, Muller singled to center to start off the Hawkeyes and stole two bases to reach third. Blaser reached first with a base on balls. Riffel hit the ball in play and reached on a fielder’s choice to pick up an RBI.
The Hawkeyes were back to work in the sixth, adding another two to make it 14-7. McCool collected a one-out pinch-hit single to get the Hawkeye scoring threat going. However, he was thrown out in a fielder’s choice and Toole reached first. Curry doubled down the right field line to pick up an RBI. Freie followed suite and doubled to left field.
The Hawkeyes will host Valparaiso at Duane Banks Field Tuesday. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.
Minnesota 015 251 000 03 -- 17 18 3
Iowa 300 112 700 00 -- 14 14 3
WP - Matyas (3-3)
LP - Porter (1-6)