May 22, 2010
IOWA CITY, IA — With a thrilling regular-season finale victory, Iowa swept Purdue Saturday afternoon with a 12-9 victory at Duane Banks Field clinching a Big Ten Tournament berth for the Iowa baseball team, its first since 2007. The Hawkeyes, who won seven of its last eight conference games to finish the regular season, held on to win with an offense fueled by three big home runs and will be seeded fourth in the conference tournament beginning Wednesday in Columbus, OH.
The series sweep is Iowa’s only three-game Big Ten sweep of the season and first since 2007 (vs. Indiana). Today’s victory is also the first Hawkeye sweep to end the regular season since 1980 (vs. Michigan State in a two-game series).
“Our pitching staff did a fantastic job all weekend enabling us to sweep the series, “said Iowa Head Coach Jack Dahm. “I’m extremely proud of our guys. They did a heck of job finishing the season strong and making the Big Ten Tournament.”
The Hawkeye offense was sparked by Kurtis Muller, Ryan Durant and Tyson Blaser. Muller continued his monster series, going 3-for-5 with a two-run blast, four RBI, two stolen bases and a two runs scored. Muller went 10-for-14 (.714) in the three-game series. Durant went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and a stolen base. Blaser went 2-for-4 with a three-run shot. Mike Corbeil went a perfect 3-for-3 with a double, RBI and run scored.
Starter Phil Schreiber went one inning and got a no decision. The righty allowed five runs, two earned, on three hits. Reliever Zach Kenyon picked up the win, his second of the season, after going four and one-third innings and allowing one run on four hits with three strikeouts. The bullpen also featured: Zach Robertson and Kevin Lee. Lee collected his 11th save of the season after going one and two-third innings.
Iowa (27-26, 13-11) plated a pair in the bottom of the first to take an early 2-0 lead. McCool was notched by a pitch to reach base, later stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Durant went yard to left field to drive him in. The big fly was the cleanup hitter’s fourth.
The Boilermakers (31-22, 12-12) answered with five, two earned, in the top of the second for a 5-2 score. The inning featured a Ryan Bridges two-RBI double.
The Hawkeyes took back the lead in the bottom of the second, 6-5, scoring four two-out runs. With Willis and Lee on base, Muller came up big with a two-out single through the left side to drive in two. He stole second and scored on a McCool single to center. McQuillan laced a single through the left side to drive in one.
Iowa added three insurances via a Blaser blast for a 9-5 lead. Durant picked up an infield single, stole second and advanced to third on a Corbeil double to left. Both scored on a Blaser three-run home run off the scoreboard–the first bomb of his career.
The Black and Gold added one more in the bottom of the fifth to win 10-5. Keppler drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, third on a passed ball and scored via a Corbeil RBI single to center.
Purdue chipped away in the top of the sixth, adding one, with an Eric Charles deep sacrifice fly. The Boilermakers continued in the top of the seventh, adding two for a 10-8 ballgame, with a pinch-hit Brad Schreiber two-run homer. Yet another pinch-hit homer, a solo shot by Peyton Bieker to come within one, 10-9, in the eighth frame.
The Hawkeyes padded their advantage to 12-9 win in the bottom of the eighth with a clutch two-run round-tripper by Muller, his second of the series and third of the season.
Iowa will play fifth-seeded Purdue Wednesday in the first round of the tournament at Bill Davis Stadium in Columbus, OH. First pitch is set for 11:05 a.m. (CDT).