May 26, 2010
COLUMBUS, OH — Two big innings of offense propelled the Iowa baseball team over Purdue, 7-4, at Bill Davis Stadium Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The victory marks Iowa’s first tournament win since 1990 and first under Head Coach Jack Dahm. The Hawkeyes’ last tournament victory came when the Iowa beat Ohio State (6-4) in Iowa City. The win is Iowa’s ninth in 10 games and fourth-straight over the Boilermakers.
“I was very proud of our guys,” Dahm said. “Purdue did a good job and made it a competitive game. But Jarred Hippen did a tremendous job out there on the mound. Sure, they got four but we all knew that Jarred wouldn’t allow them anymore. He has continued throughout the year to mature as a pitcher. As a team, it all starts on the mound and I was proud he kept his composure and settled in.”
Starter Jarred Hippen had another solid outing for the Hawkeyes, earning his sixth win going seven and one-third innings. The lefty allowed four runs on 10 hits allowing no walks with five strikeouts.
“After they scored in the first, I really only thought that I couldn’t let them score again,” Hippen said. “I started to get momentum after that and I knew the team would score runs. The guys were seeing [Matt] Morgan well but just weren’t hitting him. But finally, in the fifth, we caught up to him and I knew they would.”
Reliever Zach Robertson came in with one out and runners on first and second in the top of the eighth — and after allowing a walk, picked up back to back strikeouts to leave three Boilermakers on base and remain unscathed. Closer Kevin Lee entered in the ninth to get the final two outs and collect his 12th save of the season, which is a school single-season record.
Purdue (31-23) plated a pair in the first frame to take an early 2-0 lead. The inning featured three hits for the Boilermakers, both Kevin Plawecki and Ryan Bridges each drove in a run. Purdue added one in each the third and fifth innings for a 4-0 score. Jonathan Lilly paced the Boilermaker offense, going a perfect 3-for-3 having scored three of Purdue’s four runs.
Purdue took a chance in the tournament opener, instead of starting ace Matt Bischoff, the Boilermakers named righty Matt Morgan. Morgan held the Hawkeyes scoreless through four innings allowing just two hits. But the Hawkeye offense figured the starter out in the fifth and Morgan was pulled after allowing four runs, two earned, on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Reliever Calvin Gunter got the loss, giving up Iowa’s fifth and sixth runs.
After trailing by four, the Hawkeyes scored seven unanswered runs. Iowa (28-26) tied it up with a four spot in the fifth to knot it 4-4. Tyson Blaser led off with a single through the left side followed by a Willis double off the center field fence. Willis advanced to third on a throwing error, Blaser scored. Kurt Lee singled to left to bring in Willis. Kurtis Muller reached on a fielding error. Both runners advanced on a ground out. Mike McQuillan picked up an RBI. Durant singled to right to pick up the fourth run of the inning.
The Hawkeyes tallied their final three runs in the sixth. Mike Corbeil led off with a walk, Blaser was hit by a pitch and Willis bunt singled to load the bases. Corbeil scored on a double-play ball. With Blaser on third, Muller took one for the team and later stole second to put runners on second and third. McCool came up big with a two-RBI single up the middle.
With the win, the Hawkeyes advance to the second round of the Big Ten Tournament Thursday. Iowa will face either top-seed Minnesota or second-seed Michigan tomorrow, depending on the result of the Indiana-Northwestern game played later today. Tomorrow’s contest will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network (HD).
GAME SUMMARYPURDUE 201 010 000 - 4 11 2IOWA 000 043 00X - 7 8 1WP - Hippen (6-4)LP - Gunter (1-3)