May 9, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – – The Iowa baseball team pounded out a season-high 18 hits and plated runs in six of the nine innings cruising to a 13-9 triumph over Penn State Sunday afternoon at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. After losing the series opener Friday night, the Hawkeyes won the last two contests to win the three-game series.
Iowa was able to jump out to an early lead thanks to leadoff hitters reaching base in six of the first eight innings. Seven of Iowa’s 13 runs came two outs, eight of Iowa’s nine batters crossed home plate at least once and Hawkeye batters notched six extra-base hits en route to victory.
Six Hawkeyes registered multiple hits today: Kurtis Muller, Andrew Host, Chett Zeise, Ryan Durant, Tyson Blaser and Mike McQuillan. Muller had a monster game, going 5-for-6, including a home run, five RBI and two runs scored. The five hits is a career best and matched a school record for hits in a single-game. Muller is the second Hawkeye to go 5-for-6 this year (Zach McCool at Michigan State on April 4). Host had two singles, walk, stolen base, two RBI and a run scored. Zeise was a perfect 2-for-2, with two sacrifice bunts, an RBI, walk and a run scored. Durant went 2-for 3, with a walk, sacrifice fly and two RBI. Blaser had two hits, including a double and scored twice. McQuillan had two doubles, scored twice and a collected RBI.
“I thought we played extremely well in all phases of the game today,” said Iowa Head Coach Jack Dahm. “Our offensive execution was outstanding all day long. To be able to bounce back after the way we played the first three innings Friday night and take two of three games on the road, against one hottest teams in the Big Ten, was great to see.”
Phil Screiber started for the Hawkeyes on the hill, going four and two-third innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, while striking out three. The bullpen featured Zach Robertson, Patrick Schatz and Kevin Lee. Robertson earned his fourth victory, throwing two and one third scoreless innings.
Iowa (21-25, 8-10) plated the first tally in the top of the second inning. Host smashed a single up the middle to score Blaser for the early advantage.
Three straight hits by the Nittany Lions resulted in their first run in the second inning. Penn State threatened to score more, but Schreiber was able to work his way out of a jam leaving the bases loaded.
The visitors retook the lead in the third on a Durant two-out RBI single to right field scoring Muller. Iowa added another two-out RBI in the fourth on a Muller single to shortstop, which plated Blaser to extend the Hawkeyes’ advantage to 3-1.
One swing of the bat tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth. After Schreiber easily retired the first two batters, the sophomore yielded a single followed by a Jordan Steranka two-run blast to right field to even the contest. The big fly was his seventh of the season.
Iowa answered Penn State’s charge in the sixth with a two-out three-run home run to left field by Muller to give the Hawkeyes a three-run cushion and never looked back. It was Muller’s first round-tripper of the season.
The Hawkeyes padded their lead with two more runs in the seventh. Phil Keppler doubled to right center to score McQuillan. Two batters later, Zeise recorded a two-out RBI single to left to stretch Iowa’s lead to 8-3.
Iowa posted another crooked number in the eighth to break the game wide open. The Hawkeyes plated three runs on five hits, a walk and a sacrifice fly. The inning featured a Muller RBI single, a McQuillan RBI double, a Durant sacrifice fly, a Host RBI groundout, and a Keppler RBI on an infield error.
Penn State (21-25, 8-10) tallied the last six runs of the contest, two off Schatz in the eighth and four unearned runs off Lee in the ninth.
Iowa will concentrate on final exams this week before returning to the field Friday night when the Hawkeyes host Ohio State. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. at Duane Banks Field.