April 9, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa baseball team pounded out a season-high 18 hits en route to a 12-7 victory over Kansas on Wednesday afternoon at Banks Field. The Hawkeyes swept the two-game midweek series.
“I am really happy and proud of our team,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “It made me happy to see us go out after the quick turnaround and not be satisfied with beating Kansas last night. We went out today and had one of our best offensive outputs of the season.”
Seven of Iowa’s starters notched at least one hit in the game and six Hawkeyes posted multi-hit games. It was Iowa’s second-straight and 14th 10-plus hit game this season and the 14 runs were the most for the team since scoring 17 in a victory over Otterbein on March 17.
Junior Eric Toole finished 4-for-5 with a career-high five RBIs, while junior Jake Yacinich posted his second four-hit game of the season, finishing 4-for-5 with three runs. Junior Jake Mangler (2-for-5, 3 RBIs, 2 runs), junior Dan Potempa (2-for-4, 1 RBI), sophomore Tyler Peyton (2-for-5, 1 run) and junior Kris Goodman (2-for-3, 2 runs, 1 RBI) all had two-hit games.
“Up and down the lineup, we really swung the bats and put the barrel on the ball,” said Heller. “It was a beautiful day out, and our guys played well.”
After falling behind 2-0 in the top of the second, the Hawkeyes used a two-out rally to put a five-spot on the board in the bottom half of the inning. Yacinich and Goodman started things off with back-to-back one-out singles before junior Nick Day drew a walk with two outs to load the bases.
The Hawkeyes followed with four-straight two-out hits to give Iowa a 5-2 advantage. Toole drove in the first two runs with a single to right field before Mangler followed with a two-run double into the left centerfield gap.
The hit parade continued when Potempa roped an RBI double over the head of Tucker Tharp in centerfield. Peyton followed with a single to left field before Kansas ended the rally by getting Taylor Zeutenhorst to hit into an inning-ending fielder’s choice.
After a one-out solo home by Connor McKay cut the Iowa advantage to 5-3, the Hawkeyes put up three runs in the bottom of the third to stretch its lead to 8-3. Yacinich started the inning with a single to centerfield before Goodman was hit by a pitch to put a pair on base.
A passed ball moved both runners up a base before Toole delivered with his third hit — a two-out, two-run single to right field to make the score 7-3. Mangler stretched the advantage to five runs with an RBI double into the right center field gap to chase KU starter Drew Morovick from the contest. Each of Iowa’s first eight runs came with two outs.
“We started to get some balls to fall last night,” said Heller of the two-out hits. “It takes one guy to break it open. I said it last night, Potempa was the guy and then Toole, Mangler and Potempa does it, and up-and-down the lineup. Hopefully we can keep that rolling for the next couple of weeks.”
The Jayhawks chipped away at the deficit, pushing single runs across the plate in the fifth and sixth innings. Colby Wright had an RBI single in the fifth before Ka’iana Eldridge doubled to start the sixth and scored on a groundout by Tommy Mirabelli.
Iowa doubled up the Jayhawks, pushing a pair of insurance runs across the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning and added two more runs in the eighth. Yacinich led off the seventh with a single up the middle — his fourth hit of the contest — and scored on a pinch-hit RBI double by Jimmy Frankos. Toole followed with an RBI single up the middle for his fourth hit and career-best fifth RBI, stretching the Iowa lead to 10-5
Potempa singled to lead off the eighth before Peyton executed a hit-and-run with pinch runner Jake Riffice at first base to put runners on the corners. Zeutenhorst followed with an RBI single to right field and with two outs, and Goodman singled to center field, stretching the lead to 12-5.
Kansas didn’t go away quietly, as it put up a pair of runs in the top of the ninth. Following a leadoff single by Tharp, Wright connected on a two-run homer to left field, cutting the deficit to 12-7. UI reliever Jared Mandel buckled down, getting a ground out and fly out before striking out Justin Portacio swinging to end the contest.
UI freshman Jake Reinhardt (1-1) picked up his first career victory, allowing one run on three hits over a pair of innings. Junior Andrew Hedrick pitched 4 2/3 innings in the start, allowing four runs on nine hits, while Mandel pitched the final 2 1/3, allowing two runs on two hits.
Morovick (6-2), who entered the game with a Big 12-leading six victories, suffered the loss, allowing eight runs on 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings. Kansas finished with 14 hits against three Iowa pitchers.
The Hawkeyes (18-12) return to action Friday, facing Northwestern in the first of a three-game series beginning at 3 p.m. (CT) at Rocky Miller Park in Evanston, Ill.
“Our guys went out and played hard, gave a great effort and got two wins midweek, which is exactly what we needed,” said Heller. “It was a big boost for us heading into the series against Northwestern this weekend.”
|Iowa 12, Kansas 7||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|W: Reinhardt (IOWA) 1-1|
|L: Morovick (KU) 6-2|