Pitching and Defense Lift Hawkeyes Over Rutgers, 6-3


Feb. 26, 2010

ST. PETERSBURG, FL — The University of Iowa baseball team defeated Rutgers Friday morning, 6-3, at Al Lang Stadium in the first game of the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. Sophomore southpaw Jarred Hippen threw a gem, going eight and two-third innings and recording a career-low in runs allowed. The Hawkeye defense was on, as well, committing no errors.

Hippen notched his first win of the season, allowed only one walk and struck out a season-best eight Scarlet Knights, which was one shy of his career record (9, against Michigan Mar. 28, 2009). Closer Kevin Lee earned the 27th out for the Hawkeyes and recorded his second save of the year.

“Jarred threw the ball outstanding today,” Head Coach Jack Dahm said. “He threw all three pitches for strikes and more importantly, was packing the strike zone. I really liked the way he attacked today and only allowed one walk. Our defense played very, very well behind him, which also helped.”

The Iowa offense continued to deliver outhitting Rutgers, 11-6. Seven Hawkeyes laced a single, three blasted extra base hits and three collected a sacrifice. The offense was led by junior transfer Kurt Lee. Lee went 2-for-3 with a double, run scored, two RBI, sacrifice bunt and a stolen base. Tyson Blaser recorded a multi-hit game going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Ryan Durant went 1-for-3 with a sac fly and two RBI. Zach McCool led off for the Hawkeyes today, finishing 2-for-3 with a triple, sac bunt and two runs scored. Chett Zeise went 2-for-4 with an RBI and stolen base.

“Offensively, Kurt Lee had some big hits for us,” Dahm said. “But also, he played some outstanding defense and made some big plays at short for us. His two RBI in the eighth came with two outs and kind of gave us a little bit of a push to finish and win it.”

Iowa (2-1) struck first, plating one in the bottom of the first to grab a 1-0 lead. McCool led off with a triple to left center and scored on a Durant sacrifice fly to center.

Rutgers (0-4) tied it, 1-1, in the top of the second, taking advantage of a leadoff triple also. The Scarlet Knights came back in the top of the fifth to tie it at 2-2, with a Michael Lang RBI double.

The Hawkeyes retook the lead, 2-1, in the third. McCool led off with a single to right, followed by a Mike McQuillan single to right. One out later, runners were on the corners. McCool scored on a Dallas Burke fielder’s choice.

The Black and Gold reclaimed the lead again in the bottom of the fifth, 3-2. Lee singled to lead off the inning, and was moved to second on a McCool sacrifice bunt. Lee advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a Durant RBI single.

Iowa’s offense added insurance runs in the eighth. With one out, Sean Flanagan was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a Blaser single and scored on a Zeise RBI single. With two outs and runners on second and first Lee doubled to left center to pick up two RBI.

Rutgers scored a final run in the top of the ninth to make the final score, 6-3.

The Hawkeyes will return to play tomorrow against West Virginia at the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. First pitch is set for Noon (CST).