Hawkeyes Rally to Beat South Dakota State


March 31, 2010

Box Score in PDF Format

IOWA CITY, IA – The Iowa baseball team scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally and beat South Dakota State in exciting fashion, 6-5, tonight at Duane Banks Field.

Starter Zach Robertson had his best outing in a Hawkeye uniform, but got a no decision. Robertson went a career-long seven innings, striking out a career-high 10 batters, scattering only four hits, while only allowing one earned run. The 10 strikeouts is a season high for any Hawkeye pitcher, besting Jarred Hippen’s nine against Western Illinois last Friday.

“We found a way to win and showed character,” said Head Coach Jack Dahm. “I thought we deserved to win tonight. Zach [Roberston] was outstanding tonight keeping the hitters off balance and pitching out of trouble a couple times. Also, Andrew [Host] made a great play in the ninth.”

Trailing 3-1 in the eighth, SDSU plated four runs off Hawkeye relievers Patrick Schatz and Michael Jacobs to claim a 5-3 advantage. The Jackrabbits scored the four runs on four softly hit balls that found open grass and three walks, including an intentional pass.

Iowa, who has won five of its last six games, tied and recaptured the lead in the bottom half of the eighth, thanks to throwing errors by the pitcher and shortstop and an infield single. Ryan Durant scored Iowa’s fourth run, while Phil Keppler crossed home plate for the game-tying fifth run. Both throwing errors were SDSU attempts to complete double plays. Kurt Lee drove home the game-winning run on an infield single, in which pinch-runner Sean Flanagan hustled and scored all the way from second base.

Andrew Host made an outstanding diving catch on the warning track in the top of the ninth to help closer Kevin Lee preserve the Hawkeye victory. Lee earned his fourth save of the year.

Heading into Big Ten play, Robertson likes the way he and his teammates are playing. “I like how we fight; we’re never out of a ball game. We have the talent and are scrappy.”

Iowa (9-13) registered eight hits today by six different Hawkeyes: Kurtis Muller, Dallas Burke, Mike McQuillan, Mike Corbeil, Chett Zeise and Kurt Lee. McQuillan and Lee were the only Hawkeyes with multiple hits. McQuillan, Lee and Corbeil also collected RBIs.

SDSU (11-7) scored first with an unearned run in the top of the first inning. Billy Stitz reached base on a fielding error by Hawkeye third baseman Ziese to leadoff the game. With two outs, Robertson struck out Jesse Sawyer, but reached on a dropped third strike and throwing error by catcher Burke. John Lee took advantage of the Hawkeye miscues, hitting a slow roller to third allowing Stitz to score and give SDSU the early 1-0 lead.

The Hawkeyes tied it up in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI-single up the middle by Corbeil. Corbeil plated McQuillan, who singled and advanced to second on a fielding error by the left fielder to leadoff the frame.

Iowa plated two runs in the fifth to take a 3-1 lead. Lee scored on a pass ball and Burke scored on a McQuillan sacrifice fly deep to center field.

“I think we played the toughest non-conference schedule in the Big Ten and believe it’s prepared us for conference play,” said McQuillan.

Iowa returns to action this weekend when it opens Big Ten Conference play on the road in a three-game series against Michigan State at East Lansing, MI. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. (CST).