Feb. 20, 2015
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By JAMES ALLAN
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — Four University of Iowa pitchers scattered four hits and the offense produced a season-high 10 hits to lead the Hawkeyes to a 3-1 victory over Arkansas-Little Rock on Friday afternoon at QuikTrip Park.
“This was a well-played game by both teams,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “The pitching we received today was outstanding, and I like the way we swung the bats. We took better swings than we did during the three games in Florida, and we need to continue that and good things are going to happen.”
Junior Tyler Peyton (1-0) picked up his first victory of the season, allowing one run on three hits over five innings. The right-hander finished with five strikeouts, but also issued four walks in the contest. Peyton pitched around a pair of first inning walks, and didn’t allow a hit until the third inning.
“Tyler had great stuff, but struggled with his command when he was ahead in the count,” said Heller. “He did a great job, giving us five solid innings.”
Three Hawkeye relievers — juniors Luke Vandermaten, Ryan Erickson, and Tyler Radtke — limited the Trojans to one hit over four scoreless innings. Radtke got the final two outs to record his second save of the season.
Iowa broke through in its first at-bat, using a pair of first inning singles to score the game’s first run. Senior Eric Toole led off the contest with a single through the right side before scoring on a two-out RBI single off the bat of senior designated hitter Dan Potempa. It was Potempa’s first hit of 2015.
The Hawkeyes put their leadoff batter on base in the first, second, fourth, and fifth innings, but only scored the first-inning run.
“We did a great job of getting on-base and getting guys on, but our execution was poor,” said Heller. “It could have cost us, and it’s something we’re going to have to clean up if we’re going to continue to beat good teams on Friday.
“We lived through it today, but it’s something we have to change and change in a hurry if we’re going to improve and take the next step.”
Iowa utilized the long ball in the sixth when senior Kris Goodman connected on a two-out, solo home run to left field, pushing the lead to 2-0. It was Iowa’s first home run of the season and the sixth of Goodman’s career.
UALR cut the lead in half in the bottom half of the frame, using a Ryan Scott double and a Tanner Rockwell walk to chase Peyton from the game. Trojan first baseman Justin Steelmon welcomed Iowa reliever Luke Vandermaten with an RBI single up the middle, cutting the lead to 2-1.
After UALR gave the Hawkeyes the first out with a sacrifice, Vandermaten settled in, getting a fly out and foul out to end the inning. Erickson pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless, hitless relief, sitting down UALR in order in the seventh and eighth innings.
Goodman was in the middle of producing Iowa’s insurance run in the top of the ninth, leading off the frame with a double to left center. He scored on an RBI single up the middle by Peyton, who stayed in the game at first base after exiting his start on the mound.
After recording a quick out to start the ninth, UALR stayed alive when Erickson plunked Drew Merten to put a runner on first with one out. Iowa turned to Radtke, who needed just two pitches before getting pinch hitter Jason Prevatt to ground into a game-ending 1-6-3 double play.
Goodman and junior Nick Roscetti tallied five of Iowa’s 10 hits. Goodman finished 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, while Roscetti went 2-for-4 for his first multi-hit game of the season.
UALR starter Cory Malcom (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing runs on seven hits over six innings. The right-hander had five strikeouts and zero walks in the game.
Iowa (3-1) returns to action Saturday, facing Missouri State at 11 a.m. (CT) at QuikTrip Park.