May 11, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA– The Hawkeyes dropped the final game of a four-game series Sunday at Medlar Field, 11-8. The Hawkeyes took an early lead in the first, but were held scoreless for six innings. A big fifth inning for Penn State proved too difficult for the Iowa offense to overcome.
As a team, with three stolen bases Iowa has stolen 128 bases this season, which sets the school record. The previous record of 127 was set by the 1981 Hawkeye team.
“Our guys are respectful, they work hard,” Head Coach Jack Dahm said. “We may not play the best baseball all the time, but we play hard. Bottom line though, we need to find ways to win games.”
The Iowa offense scattered 14 hits, and were led by Kyle Riffel who went 4-for-5 with a triple, two RBI and a run scored. Justin Toole went 3-for-5 with two stolen bases and a run scored. Kevin Hoef went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI.
Iowa (20-31, 8-20) got on the board first, plating three in the top of the first inning to take a 3-0 lead. Hoef hit a leadoff single through the left side, followed by a Toole single through the right side. Both runners advanced on a throwing error by the right fielder. With runners on second and third, Caleb Curry hit a sacrifice fly to score Hoef. Toole stole third, and later scored on a Tyson Blaser RBI double down the right field line. Kurtis Muller advanced Blaser to third on a sacrifice bunt. Riffel singled through the left side to pick up an RBI.
Penn State (24-27, 15-13) chipped away in the bottom of the fourth, to make it 3-1. However, in the bottom of the fifth, the Nittany Lions broke the game open scoring eight to take a 9-3 lead. The inning featured three Hawkeye errors and five hits. Penn State added to insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it 11-3
“We didn’t play good defense today,” Dahm said. “Our focus wasn’t there today. To commit four errors and walk nine guys we are going to give up a lot of runs. Their pitchers only gave up one walk, and that is how they kept the score down. Our program must learn to keep the free bases down.”
After six scoreless innings, the Hawkeyes plated two runs in the top of the eighth to make it 11-5. Muller walked and was advanced to third on a Riffel single through the left side. Muller scored on a T.J. Cataldo fielder’s choice. With a runner on first and two outs, Zach McCool was hit by a pitch to put two on for Iowa. Hoef singled to right field to pick up another Hawkeye run.
Trying to play catch-up in the top of the ninth, the Hawkeyes plated three runs on five hits to make it 11-8. However, with the tying run on base they fell short.
Toole recorded his 25th consecutive game with a hit, on top of that, he tied Travis Sweet at second in single-season hits with 85. On top of that, Curry became second in single-season stolen bases surpassing Lance Platz with 38 stolen bases.
“Justin Toole shows up everyday and works hard,” Dahm said. “He is trying to lead this ball club and he`s had an impressive season doing so. That is the most unselfish 85 hits your going to see. He plays good solid team baseball.”
The Hawkeyes are set to host Ohio State in a four-game series at Duane Banks Field. First pitch is set for Thursday at 6 p.m.
Iowa 300 000 023 - 8 15 4
Penn State 000 180 20X - 11 10 3
WP - Lorentson (4-5)
LP- Jacobs (2-5)