May 4, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The University of Iowa baseball team matched a season-high with 17 runs on 17 hits and got a complete game performance from junior Sasha Kuebel en route to a 17-2 blasting of Ohio State on Sunday afternoon at Bill Davis Stadium. The win evens the series at one heading into Monday’s rubber match.
Iowa’s 17 runs are the most scored by either team in the all-time series and the 15-run margin of victory is the largest in series between the two schools. The 17 runs are also the most Iowa has scored in a Big Ten game since the 2011 season — a 19-7 victory over Michigan State.
“We played well in all facets of the game,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “Sasha gave us a great start and put us in a great situation tomorrow with our bullpen. Our offense was outstanding all day long and had great at-bats up-and-down the lineup.
“Our energy and effort was outstanding, which was exactly what we needed after a tough loss yesterday. The guys came out and played extremely well.”
The Hawkeyes (26-16, 8-9) scored early and often, jumping out to a 3-0 lead through two innings before blowing the game open with 14 runs in the fourth through seventh frames. Iowa batted around the order twice in the contest.
Kuebel (6-3) was the beneficiary of the extraordinary run support, but he didn’t really need it. The southpaw allowed one unearned run over the first seven innings and a total of two runs in the complete game — his second of the season. Kuebel, who sat down the Buckeyes in order in 4-of-9 innings, allowed nine hits in the contest, had four strikeouts against two walks and needed just 103 pitches.
The Hawkeyes jumped on Buckeye starter Ryan Riga early, pushing three runs across the plate in the first two innings. Junior Eric Toole led off the game with a bunt single, stole second and scored on a one-out RBI single by junior Jake Yacinich. Junior Dan Potempa then gave Iowa a 2-0 first inning lead, roping a double off the wall in right field.
Ohio State got one run back in the bottom half of the first before Iowa pushed the advantage back to two runs in the second. Toole started the frame with a one-out single, moved to second on a Jake Mangler walk, stole third and scored on an RBI groundout by Tyler Peyton.
After going down in order in the third, Iowa’s bats went back to work in the fourth. Junior Kris Goodman led off the inning with a walk before Toole reached on a fielding error by Ohio State second baseman Nick Sergakis with one out. With two outs, Peyton made the Buckeyes pay for the miscue, belting a three-run home run to right centerfield, stretching the lead to 6-1.
Iowa broke the game open in the fifth, sending 10 batters to the plate en route to putting up a five-spot to push the Hawkeye advantage to 11-1. With one out, senior Taylor Zeutenhorst and sophomore Jimmy Frankos singled before Goodman ripped an RBI single to right field to make the score 7-1.
With two away, Toole walked to load the bases before Mangler drove in a pair with a two-run single to centerfield, stretching the lead to 9-1. Iowa then loaded the bases a second time before Yacinich pushed the lead to double digits with a two-run single through the left side, stretching the advantage to 11-1.
The Hawkeyes continued piling on runs, scoring two more in the sixth before plating their final four runs in the seventh. Zeutenhorst walked and Frankos singled to right field to lead off the sixth before Goodman roped an RBI double down the right field line to plate Iowa’s 12th run. Junior Nick Day then made the score 13-1, knocking in Frankos with an RBI groundout.
Iowa sent 10 batters to the plate for the second time in the seventh, plating four runs on two hits and three Buckeye errors. Yacinich and Zeutenhorst scored the first two runs on two errors before Day roped an RBI single up the middle to push the Hawkeye lead to 17-1.
Ohio State (26-21, 7-10) scored its second run in the eighth courtesy of an RBI single by Ryan Leffel.
Every Hawkeye starter tallied at least one hit in the contest with five players posting multi-hit games. Yacinich had his third four-hit game of the season, finishing 4-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs, while Toole (2-for-5, 4 runs, 3 SB), Zeutenhorst (2-for-5, 3 runs), Frankos (2-for-5, 3 runs) and Goodman (2-for-4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs) all had two hits. Peyton had a career-best four RBIs, while Day finished with three RBIs in the contest.
Riga (4-2) suffered the loss, allowing 10 runs (seven earned) on nine hits over 4 2/3 innings.
The rubber match of the three-game is set for 6:05 p.m. (CT) Monday, and it will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
|Iowa 17, Ohio State 2||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Iowa (26-16, 8-9)||2||1||0||3||5||2||4||0||0||17||17||1|
|Ohio State (26-21, 7-10)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||2||9||4|
|W: Kuebel (IOWA) 6-3|
|L: Riga (OSU) 4-2|