May 21, 2010
IOWA CITY, IA – – The Iowa baseball team took a series from Purdue Friday evening, winning the second game of a doubleheader at Duane Banks Field, 5-1. The Hawkeyes have now clinched their third-straight conference series win (Penn State, Ohio State and Purdue), putting them in a three-way tie with Purdue and Northwestern for third in the Big Ten standings and still in the hunt for a Big Ten Tournament berth.
Starter Nick Brown went six and two-third innings, allowing only one run on seven hits with four strikeouts. Brown earned the win, his fifth of the season. Reliever Zach Robertson went two and one-third innings to earn his first career Hawkeye save. The southpaw allowed only two base runners and struck out four, including two in the ninth inning.
“It was a great day for our guys,” said Iowa Head Coach Jack Dahm. “They went out and played with confidence and had fun out there. It all started with our pitchers, it always starts on the mound. It’s the highest point on the field for a reason it’s the most important spot and our team thrives when our pitchers set the tone.”
Iowa pitchers combined to hold Purdue’s offense to only three runs in the twin bill. Hawkeye ace Jarred Hippen allowed only two runs in a complete game one triumph earlier in the day.
Kurtis Muller paced the Hawkeye offense, going 3-for-4, with a double and one run scored. On the day, he went 7-for-9 with two doubles, a home run, stolen base, two RBI and three runs scored. Kurt Lee picked up a pair of singles for the second-straight game. Zach McCool went 1-for-3 with two RBI.
Iowa, who has won seven of its last eight games, struck first, putting up a three spot in the third to lead 3-0. Trevor Willis drew a walk to lead off the inning, followed by a Lee bunt single. Muller followed suite, legging out a bunt single to load the bases. Willis scored and all runners advanced on a passed ball. McCool came up with a clutch two-RBI single to center.
Purdue (31-21, 12-11) plated one in the fourth to trail, 3-1, by way of a Cameron Perkins bomb to right, his eighth of the season.
The Hawkeyes (26-26, 12-11) added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, to further their lead 4-1. With two out, Phil Keppler singled to right, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored with a Tyson Blaser RBI single.
Iowa concluded the scoring in the bottom of the eighth to win, 5-1. Willis launched an RBI double off the centerfield fence to drive in Keppler.
Once again, the Hawkeye defense made plays behind their pitching staff, going error-free for the third consecutive contest.
The series win is Iowa’s first over the Boilermakers since 2002 when the Hawkeyes took three-of-four.
“Hawkeye fans are the greatest and tonight’s crowd was electric,” added Dahm. “Our guys fed off their energy and we truly appreciate their support. We look forward to playing in front of another great crowd tomorrow.”
The Hawkeyes will play for a sweep tomorrow afternoon against the Boilermakers in the regular-season finale. First pitch scheduled 1:05 p.m. at Duane Banks Field. Admission is only $3 for adults.