Feb. 20, 2010
CLARKSVILLE, TN – A late offensive explosion lifted the Iowa baseball team to a 19-11 season-opening victory over Illinois State Saturday afternoon at Raymond C. Hand Park. The Hawkeyes scored all 19 runs in the final four innings, including posting a seven-spot in the top of the ninth.
Iowa (1-0) blasted four home runs and also smacked five doubles en route to victory. All four round-trippers plated multiple runs: a grand slam, two three-run bombs and a two-run shot. Iowa pounded out 17 hits, with all nine batters reaching base twice or more and eight of the nine registering hits. Iowa’s first five batters in the lineup each had two hits or more and had a collective total of 12 hits.
The Hawkeyes were led by second-baseman Mike McQuillan. The sophomore had seven RBI on a grand slam, a two-run homer and an RBI double. The home runs were the fourth and fifth of his career. Sophomores Chett Ziese and Ryan Flanagan each had two hits, including three-run homers. Redshirt junior Tyson Blaser had a two-RBI double. Juniors Kurtis Muller and Kurt Lee also collected an RBI each. Muller had three hits as Iowa’s leadoff hitter, including collecting his third career triple.
The Redbirds jumped on Iowa early, scoring the first seven runs of the contest. Illinois State plated an unearned run in the second and third innings, and two more in the fourth to post an early 4-0 advantage. Illinois State plated three earned runs on two hits in the fifth to extend its cushion to 7-0.
Illinois State (0-2) starting pitcher John Copeland silenced the Hawkeye bats early, allowing no runs and only three hits through the first five innings.
However, Iowa’s offense ultimately came around in the sixth. Dallas Burke and Flanagan reached on back-to-back singles. Zeise then stepped to the plate a blasted a two-out home run to center field to cut the deficit to 7-3. The home run was the first of Ziese’s career.
Five Hawkeyes touched home plate in the seventh to give Iowa its first lead of the game at 8-7. Kurt Lee scored on an error, McQuillan followed with an RBI double and the inning culminated with a Flanagan three-run blast to center. The home run was Flanagan’s seventh of his career.
Illinois State regained an 11-8 lead in the bottom half of the seventh, scoring three earned and one unearned run off Hawkeye reliever Zach Robertson, who ultimately earned the victory throwing one and two-thirds innings.
McQuillan’s grand slam to right center in the eighth gave the Hawkeyes a 12-11 lead, which it would not relinquish. The Hawkeyes put the game away in the ninth with seven runs on six hits. The inning featured McQullian’s second big fly in as many innings, powering a two-run shot to right field.
Iowa won despite committing six fielding errors and Hawkeye pitchers walking 11 Redbirds. Sophomore Jarred Hippen started the contest, pitching three and two-third innings, allowing five hits and four unearned runs. Hawkeye pitchers who saw action out of the bullpen include: Patrick Schatz, Zach Kenyon, Robertson and Kevin Lee. Kevin Lee pitched the last one and a third innings to earn the save.
Iowa will play again later today against Austin Peay.