Hawkeyes Fall In Home Opener


March 25, 2011

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Iowa baseball team lost to Western Illinois Friday in its home opener at Duane Banks Field, 4-2.

Western Illinois (4-15) got on the board first in the top of the fourth. With two away in the inning, Dan Dispensa reached on a Hawkeye error. After Dispensa stole second, Anthony Kaskadden doubled to left center to give the Leathernecks the early 1-0 lead.

The Iowa offense tied the game in the bottom half of the inning. With one out, Kurt Lee singled, extending his hitting streak to five games. Mike McQuillan followed with a double to left center, placing runners at second and third. Tyson Blaser then flew out to center, scoring Lee to tie the game.

The Leathernecks responded in the top of the fifth, adding two runs on four hits off Hawkeye starter Jarred Hippen.

Patrick Lala relieved Hippen in the sixth. After getting out of the sixth, the junior worked a scoreless seventh. Western Illinois notched one run off Lala in the eighth, to make the score 4-1.

The Black and Gold staged a ninth inning rally, but ultimately fell short. Keith Brand reached on a hit-by-pitch and Lee added his second hit of the night to start the inning. McQuillan then singled to left, scoring Brand. With the score 4-2 in favor or the Leathernecks, Iowa had the bases loaded with two down. Phil Keppler launched one to center, but it was hauled in for the final out.

Hippen suffered the loss for Iowa (7-11). The junior starter allowed three runs on nine hits in five and two-thirds.

“We didn’t play well tonight,” said Iowa Head Coach Jack Dahm. “We need to do a better job offensively and get some momentum in our dugout. We need to compete better than we did tonight. Give Western Illinois credit. They had a guy on the mound that pitched well, threw at a good pace and set the tone.”

Dan Russell picked up his third win for the Leathernecks, giving up two runs on four hits in eight and a third. Beau Below recorded the last two outs to collect the save for Western Illinois.

Iowa returns to action Saturday when the Hawkeyes entertain Western Illinois at 1 p.m. at Duane Banks Field. Admission is $3 for adults, and free for UI students and youths.

Western Illinois 4, Iowa 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Western Illinois (4-15) 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 0 4 12 0
Iowa (7-11) 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 2
Game Decision
W: Russell (UI) 3-1
L: Hippen (WIU) 1-2
SV: Below (UI) 2