March 26, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Iowa baseball team defeated Western Illinois Saturday afternoon at Duane Banks Field, 5-4.
Nick Brown, the reigning Big Ten Pitcher of the Week, led Iowa with another strong outing. The junior started notched his third win of the season, throwing seven innings. Brown gave up one run on seven hits, while striking out four. He stranded nine Western Illinois base runners, six in scoring position.
“Nick Brown did a great job on the mound for us,” said Iowa Head Coach Jack Dahm. “He did a tremendous job. He kept making pitch after pitch. Offensively, we executed and maximized our output. It was good to get the victory. We are looking forward to trying to win the series tomorrow on the road.”
The Hawkeyes (8-11) got on the board first in the bottom of the second. Tyson Blaser reached on a hit-by-pitch to start the inning. Zach McCool laid down a sacrifice bunt, his seventh of the season, to move Blaser to second. Andrew Ewing singled to right, placing runners at first and third. Phil Keppler then flied out to center, scoring Blaser and giving Iowa a 1-0 lead.
The Black and Gold added to their lead in the third. Keith Brand walked to lead off the bottom half of the inning. Trevor Willis sacrificed, allowing Brand to advance to second. A Kurt Lee single, which extended his hitting streak to six games, put runners on the corners. Mike McQuillan grounded out to first, but aggressive base running by Brand at third base gave the Hawkeyes a 2-0.
Western Illinois (4-16) cut the Hawkeye lead to 2-1 in the seventh. The Leathernecks paired a couple free passes with an RBI double to cut the Iowa lead in half.
The Hawkeyes answered with three insurance runs in the bottom half. With the bases loaded, McQuillan smashed a base hit back up the middle, scoring Patrick Harshman from third and Andrew Host from second. McQuillan’s team-leading 10th and 11th RBI’s of the season gave Iowa a 4-1 advantage. With the bases loaded and two away in the inning, Zach McCool was hit by a pitch, scoring Lee from third and extending the Iowa lead to 5-1.
The Leathernecks notched two runs in the top of the eighth to make the score 5-3. With the bases loaded, Tim Fangman replaced reliever Kevin Lee. Fangman limited the damage, allowing two Western Illinois runners to score. Fangman also pitched the ninth inning, giving up one run. Fangman earned his first Hawkeye save in the one-run victory.
This weekend’s three-game set concludes tomorrow when the two teams meet in Macomb, Ill. at 1 p.m.
|Iowa 5, Western Illinois 4||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Western Illinois (4-16)||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||1||4||11||0|
|W: Brown (IOWA) 3-1|
|L: Sterling (WIU) 1-2|
|SV: Fangman (IOWA) 1|