Iowa Finishes Second in Big Ten Tournament


May 29, 2010

COLUMBUS, OH — With a 15-5 loss to Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament championship game, the Iowa baseball team finishes in second place Saturday evening at Bill Davis Stadium. The second place finish ties a school best (in 1983).

“I was very proud of how our team battled out there today and all year,” Head Coach Jack Dahm. “It is easy to give in but our guys go after it. I told our guys people were going to say we had a great month, I don’t agree with that. This started last year and with their commitment we were able to achieve the things we did this year.”

Iowa (30-28) entered the tournament with an all-time school record of 4-14, having picked up three wins the Hawkeyes are now 7-16. In his third appearance in the conference tournament, Dahm collected his first three wins and is now 3-6.

“Being in the first championship game since 1983 is great,” Dahm said. “It’s a nice stepping stone. But we need to continue to work hard and get after things because we have a very, very bright future.”

The Hawkeyes, who finished the season with 30 wins, had two players named to the All-Big Ten Baseball Tournament Team. Jarred Hippen and Kurtis Muller were both named to the 15 person squad.

Hippen, a native of Rock Falls, IL, earned Iowa’s first win against Purdue Tuesday afternoon. The win was Iowa’s first tournament win since 1990. The lefty earned his sixth win going seven and one-third innings. He lefty allowed four runs on 10 hits allowing no walks with five strikeouts.

Muller, from Sun Prairie, WI, set the tournament record for most stolen bases with six. He also tied the individual game record for most stolen bases with three Thursday against Purdue. (Tying Craight Conti in 1986 and Ryan Lefebvre in 1992)

On short rest, after starting Thursday’s game against Michigan, righty Nick Brown went five and two-third innings. He allowed four runs, two earned, on eight hits with five strikeouts. Iowa’s bullpen featured: Zach Kenyon, Michael Jacobs, Ricky Sandquist and Patrick Schatz.

Minnesota (30-28) plated one in the first to take an early 1-0 lead and never trailed. The inning featured back to back two-out doubles from Michael Kvasnicka and Kyle Knudson. The Golden Gophers kept at it in the second, adding two unearned runs for a 3-1 score. Minnesota added one in the fifth, four in seventh, seven in the eighth to lead 15-4.

Minnesota starter Phil Isaksson kept Iowa’s offense off balance. After already rallying in game one of today and scattering 15 hits the Hawkeye offense was held to one run on six hits by the righty.

The Hawkeyes pushed one across in the seventh to trial, 8-1. Mike McQuillan singled to left center and advanced to third on a Phil Keppler double to right center. Tyson Blaser picked up an RBI single to left. Iowa added one more in the bottom of the ninth for a 15-5 ball game. The inning featured a Muller RBI double.

In the bottom of the eighth, with five pinch hitters– Iowa manufactured three runs for a 15-4 score. Kurt Lee wore a pitch followed by Muller singling to left. With two outs, Andrew Ewing singled to center to bring in Lee. Dallas Burke came up with a big pinch hit two-out two RBI triple.

Iowa added one in the bottom of the ninth, for a 15-5 ball game. The inning featured a Muller RBI double.

“We got on a run later in the year, that is for sure,” Tyson Blaser said. “We had a lot of fun this season. We never got too up or too down, we just played. We never believed we were out of any game and I am proud of that.”