May 7, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – – Penn State scored all six of its runs in the first three innings en route to a 6-2 win over the Iowa Hawkeye baseball team Friday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. After winning only two of its first 10 Big Ten games, Penn State has now won six straight to rise in the standings.
Despite out-hitting Penn State, Iowa lost its third consecutive league game. Nine of Iowa’s 11 hits were singles. Mike McQuillan, Kurt Lee and Ryan Durant had two hits, while Kurtis Muller and Phil Keppler each had an RBI.
“Tonight was a tough game for us,” Iowa Head Coach Jack Dahm said. “We made a couple mental mistakes defensively and on the base paths and it cost us. We dug ourselves an early hole and played on our heels. I thought Zach Kenyon came in and pitched well to keep us in the game. I told our guys that the last time Jarred [Hippen] lost on a Friday was against Illinois and we came back and won the last two games, so we need to draw upon that.”
Penn State (21-23, 8-8) sent eight batters to the plate, scoring three runs on four hits off Iowa starter Jarred Hippen in the bottom of the first inning. Other than an RBI triple down the right field line, Nittany Lion hitters hit slow rollers that, unfortunately for the Hawkeye defense, found holes through the infield and produced runs. Jordan Steranka, Joe DeBernardis and Bobby Jacobs recorded RBI hits in the first frame.
Steranka collected his second RBI of the contest in the second frame on a one-out single through the left side to stretch the Nittany Lions’ lead to 4-0.
Penn State starter Mike Wanamaker worked out of a jam in the top of the third inning. Iowa had runners at the corners and one out, but Wanamaker struck out Muller and picked off Lee at first base to silence the Hawkeye scoring threat. Wanamaker threw eight innings (136 pitches), allowing only two runs, while striking out a career-high 10 and walking none in earning his fourth win of the year.
Penn State, a team that averaged 18 runs in a three-game series against Big Ten leader Michigan State a week ago, added two unearned runs in the third to extend its lead to 6-0. The inning featured an RBI triple and groundout. The Nittany Lions chased Hippen after three innings. The sophomore got the loss allowing six runs on eight hits.
Iowa (19-25, 6-10) cracked the scoreboard in the fourth with a Keppler two-out RBI single to right field to make the score 6-1. The visitors scored its second and final run in the seventh. Lee started a two-out rally with a double to left. Muller then plated Lee with his team-leading fourth triple to right center.
Kenyon did an excellent job pitching in relief for the Hawkeyes. The junior silenced Penn State batters, allowing no runs and only two hits, while striking out three in five innings of work.
The Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions continue their three-game series tomorrow. First pitch is slated for 4:05 p.m. (CDT). The contest can be seen live on the Big Ten Network (HD).