May 28, 2010
COLUMBUS, OH – With a season-high seven runs scored in the first frame the Iowa baseball team coasted its way to an 8-3 elimination game victory over Purdue Friday afternoon at Bill Davis Stadium. The contest against Iowa was the second game of the day for Purdue; the Boilermakers routed Indiana 15-5 earlier in the day to advance in the losers bracket and play the Hawkeyes.
“Our guys did great early,” Head Coach Jack Dahm. “It’s hard to play a team that just picked up a win but our guys came out early and executed. Matt Dermody did tremendous on the mound and he’s really growing up as a pitcher. I can’t say enough about his performance today. It was a great win for him and for our guys.”
The win clinched a five-game season sweep over the Boilermakers and also extended Iowa’s run in the Big Ten Tournament. The last time Iowa won five straight over Purdue was the last three games in 1989 and first two contests of a four-game series in 1992; the two teams did not compete in 1990 and 1991.
With the victory, Iowa will face the loser of tonight`s Minnesota-Michigan game tomorrow afternoon. Tomorrow’s contest will be at 2:35 p.m. (CDT) and will be televised on the Big Ten Network (HD).
“This team is having fun,” Dahm said. “They may be having the most fun of any team I’ve ever coached. They’re unselfish, they get along and we just want to keep playing games. This win will give us some momentum going into tomorrow.”
Today’s triumph matches the most Iowa has ever had at the Big Ten Tournament. In 1983, the Hawkeyes lost the first game, but won two straight to finish second, the highest in school history.
Kurtis Muller had a record day, tying two Big Ten Tournament records with three stolen bases. Muller now has five stolen bases at the tournament tying Matt Nohelty of Minnesota in 2009. His three thefts today also tied a individual game tournament record held by fellow Hawkeye Craig Conti (1983) and Minnesota’s Ryan Lefebvre (1992).
Fellow Hawkeye Sean Flanagan tied a school record with two hit-by-pitches in today’s contest. The last Hawkeye to be notched twice was Kevin Hoef in 2009. Iowa tallied its eight runs on an efficient nine hits. Eight different Hawkeyes collected a base hit, with Trevor Willis, Zach McCool and Tyson Blaser recording Iowa’s only extra-base hits (doubles). McCool’s double extended his hit-streak to 14 games.
Freshman Matt Dermody had a phenomenal outing in his first start against a Big Ten opponent. He earned the win, his third of the year, after going a career-long six innings and allowing only two runs, scattering eight hits and punching out two. The Iowa bullpen featured Zach Robertson and Kevin Lee. Robertson allowed only one runs in two and two-thirds, while Lee was upon to secure the final out.
Iowa sent 12 batters to the plate in the first inning and with only one extra-base hit, put up a big seven spot to lead, 7-0. Muller drew a walk, stole second then advanced to third on a groundout. Mike McQuillan hit a bloop RBI single to score him. Ryan Durant singled through the left side, followed by a Phil Keppler base hit. With the bases loaded, Blaser wore one to bring in a run. Flanagan followed suit, being hit by a pitch to pick up an RBI. Willis crushed a ball to center, driving in two with a standup double. Kurt Lee picked up an RBI with a single to center. Willis crossed home plate a wild pitch for Iowa’s seventh run of the inning.
Purdue (33-24) got on the board in the fourth, plating a pair to trail, 7-2. The Boilermakers scattered four of their 12 hits in the fourth frame, all singles. Purdue picked up an additional tally in the bottom of the eighth.
Iowa (29-27) added one in the eighth to extend its lead, 8-2. Muller reached base on a fielding error and later swiped his third bag of the game. With a McCool double, Muller scored.
Today marked the fifth time in a week that the Iowa and Purdue faced each other. The last time the Hawkeyes faced a team five times in a season was Ohio State in 1990 and Iowa took three of the five.