March 15, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — The University of Iowa baseball team pounded out 15 hits and sophomore Calvin Mathews pitched eight shutout innings to propel the Hawkeyes to a 13-1 victory over Georgetown at the Snowbird Baseball Classic, giving UI head coach Rick Heller win No. 700 in his coaching career.
“We had a good start to our weekend in Port Charlotte,” said Heller. “Calvin gave us a good start, going eight innings; we hit the ball up-and-down the lineup, and we only allowed one free base the entire day.”
Heller now has a 700-569-4 record in his 26-plus year coaching career. He is the 39th active winningest coach in the country.
“I try not to think about that stuff, but when it does come up I try to use that time to think about all the guys who have played for me, who I had the pleasure to coach from the beginning of my career to now,” said Heller. “It’s a time to reminisce about those guys and all the great assistants I had along the way.”
Iowa’s offense got off to a quick start, pushing a pair of runs across the plate in the top of the first. Junior Eric Toole drew a leadoff walk, before junior Jake Yacinich had a one-out single to put two runners on. After Yacinich stole his Big Ten-leading 11th base of the season, sophomore Tyler Peyton delivered a two-run double down the right field line to give the Hawkeyes a 2-0 lead. The hit extended Peyton’s hitting streak to nine games.
That’s all Mathews would need, as the right-hander stifled the Hoyas for eight innings, throwing just 94 pitches. After allowing a single to the first Georgetown batter, Mathews retired 16-straight until the sixth. Mathews finished with a career-high nine strikeouts over eight innings — a career-long start — to improve to 2-1.
“That was his second-straight quality start,” said Heller. “Calvin has given us a chance to win every time he has taken the mound this year, and today was probably his best. That’s great (to see) heading into Big Ten play.”
The Hawkeyes blew the game open in the middle innings, pushing two runs across the plate in the fourth, four in the fifth and three in the sixth. Peyton doubled to start the fourth before senior Taylor Zeutenhorst singled up the middle. Iowa then executed a double steal to notch the third run when Peyton stole home and Zeutenhorst second. Senior Trevor Kenyon made the score 4-0 with an RBI double to left center.
Iowa used three hits and a pair of Georgetown errors to double the lead in the fifth. Toole opened the inning with a bunt single before junior Jake Mangler’s RBI double to left center made the score 5-0. After Yacinich reached on a throwing error, Peyton’s sacrifice fly plated Mangler before Zeutenhorst roped an RBI double to left center. Zeutenhorst scored the eighth run when Kenyon reached via a fielding error.
The Hawkeyes used a two-out rally in the sixth to push the lead to 11-0 — Iowa’s fifth game with 10 or more runs this season. Following a Yacinich walk, Peyton notched his third hit of the game with a single through the left side, and Zeutenhorst knocked them both in with a towering three-run long ball to right field. The blast was Zeutenhorst’s third of the year, tying him for the team lead.
“Tyler (Peyton) and Taylor were swinging hot bats today,” said Heller. “It was nice to see Zeutenhorst hit a left-on-left breaking ball over the fence in right field. That was a positive.”
Iowa scored its final two runs in the top of the ninth on three hits. Junior Taylor Kaufman and sophomore John Barrett had consecutive one-out singles to start the inning before sophomore Nick Roscetti was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Toole pushed the lead to 13-0 with a two-run single to right field.
Georgetown scored its lone run in the bottom of the ninth inning against sophomore reliever Jared Mandel, who was making the first appearance of his Hawkeye career. The left-hander allowed a one-out double to Ryan Toomey and a single to Nick Collins before Steve Anderson tallied the RBI after reaching on a fielder’s choice.
Iowa posted a double-digit hit total for the ninth time this season and four Hawkeyes had multi-hit games. Peyton had a career-best three hits, going 3-for-3 with two runs and three RBIs, while Zeutenhorst finished 3-for-5 with four RBIs and three runs. Toole (2-for-5, 2 runs, 1 RBI) and Yacinich (2-for-4, 3 runs) both had two-hit games.
The Hawkeyes (10-4) return to action Sunday, playing a doubleheader. Iowa opens the day with a 9 a.m. (CT) matchup against Saint Joseph’s before squaring off against Georgetown a second time 30 minutes after the completion of the first game.
|Iowa 13, Georgetown 1||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|W: Mathews (IOWA) 2-1|
|L: Giordano (GU) 0-1|