March 2, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
DELAND, Fla. — The University of Iowa baseball team won its seventh-straight game, pounding out 13 hits en route to an 8-2 victory over Furman in its Stetson Invitational finale on Sunday morning at Melching Field. The Hawkeyes broke out the brooms for the second-straight weekend.
The win improves Iowa’s record to 9-1 — the program’s best start since 1940 when the team started the year 10-0-1.
“This was a very well-played ballgame on our side,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “The guys showed some toughness on Sunday, playing a good team in Furman. Defensively we were outstanding, had errorless game and allowed very few bases again, very few free bases all weekend. When you do that, you give yourself a chance to win games.”
After Furman tied the game at one in the fourth inning, the Hawkeyes wasted little time answering and taking control of the game, pushing two runs across in the fifth and three in the sixth to take a 6-1 advantage.
Junior Nick Day started the fifth, reaching on an error before junior Eric Toole roped a ball into the right centerfield gap for a stand-up triple to make the score 2-1. Junior Jake Mangler followed with a sacrifice fly to center field, pushing the advantage to 3-1.
In the sixth, junior Kris Goodman started the Hawkeye rally with a one-out double down the right field line against Furman reliever Tyler Wood before scoring on senior Trevor Kenyon’s RBI single to center field. Kenyon scored the Hawkeyes’ sixth run on the same play, advancing to second on centerfielder Sky Overton’s throw to the plate and scoring when Paladin catcher Cameron Whitehead’s errant throw to second sailed into center field.
With two outs, Iowa pushed its sixth run across the plate via three consecutive singles by Day, Toole and Mangler. Mangler’s RBI base knock extended his hitting streak to 10 games, tying a career best.
Iowa broke the game open in the top of the eighth inning against the Furman bullpen, pushing its advantage to 8-1. Pinch hitter Taylor Kaufman started the inning with a one-out single to centerfield before Paladin reliever Matthew Quarles loaded the bases by plunking Day and Toole. Mangler followed with an opposite field, two-run single to right field, stretching the lead to 8-1.
Furman opened the bottom of the inning with consecutive singles to chase Iowa starter Tyler Peyton. The Paladins scored their second run on a Jordan Simpson sacrifice fly, but reliever Brandon Shulista got an inning-ending double play ball to avoid further damage.
Peyton won his second-straight start, allowing a pair of runs on seven hits over seven innings. He had four strikeouts to two walks in the game.
“Tyler did a great job on the mound,” said Heller. “Yesterday we used a lot of guys out of the bullpen, and we needed a long start out of Tyler, and he gave us that. That’s exactly what we needed him to do, and he went out and did it.”
Four Hawkeyes — Toole (2-for-4, 1 run, 1 RBI), Mangler (2-for-4, 4 RBIs), junior Jake Yacinich (2-for-5) and Goodman (2-for-5, 1 run) — had multi-hit games. Mangler’s four RBIs are a career-high.
Iowa struck first in the top of the second inning, using two hits and a pair of errors to jump out to a 1-0 lead. Senior Taylor Zeutenhorst doubled down the left field line to lead off the frame before Goodman followed with a single to left field to put runners at second and third.
With one out senior Bryan Niedbalski laced a grounder into the hole between first and second base, where Simpson made a diving stop. Niedbalski tallied an RBI on the play and reached via an error, when the ball popped out of Simpson’s glove before he was able to make the throw to first. The Paladins avoided further damage when Warford got Day to hit into an inning-ending 6-3 double play.
Furman used a two-out rally to tie the game at one in the fourth. After sitting down the first two batters in order, a pitch got away from Peyton and it resulted in Simpson reaching via a hit by pitch. After moving to second base on a wild pitch, Simpson scored on an RBI single up the middle by Cameron Whitehead.
Iowa (9-1) will return to action March 7-9 in Manhattan, Kan., for a three-game series at Big 12 foe Kansas State.
|Iowa 8, Furman 2||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|W: Peyton (IOWA) 2-0|
|L: Warford (FURMAN) 0-2|