March 17, 2015
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By BEN SCHMITZ
HOUSTON — Early run support behind a solid pitching effort propelled the University of Iowa baseball team past Houston Baptist, 7-2, on Tuesday afternoon at Husky Field. With the win, the Hawkeyes improve to 12-4 on the season and drop Houston Baptist to a 9-11 mark.
“We were able to take advantage of some early scoring opportunities today via errors and put some runs on the board,” said UI head coach Rock Heller. “We came out offensively and helped our younger pitchers who were going to throw — that’s exactly what we wanted to do.”
“Defensively we had another solid day of errorless baseball,” said Heller. “I thought we had a lot of hop in our step and a lot of positive energy from the time we came off the bus until we finished this four-game series. Overall, I was happy with how we played.”
The bats came to life early in game four of the series finale, collecting five runs on three hits in the first two innings. Senior Eric Toole doubled down the right line to fuel the initial offense for Iowa. Redshirt senior Jake Mangler pushed Toole over to third with a ground out before senior Kris Goodman brought him home — connecting on a hard-hit shot to right field for the sacrifice fly. Junior Tyler Peyton delivered in the cleanup spot, sending a deep fly ball to right field that allowed Goodman to score on the sacrifice and put Iowa in front, 2-0.
Timely hitting paired with heads up base running kept the bats rolling in a three-run second inning that extended the visitor’s lead to 5-0. Redshirt senior Sean Moore and juniors Nick Roscetti and Eric Schenck-Joblinske added run support via two hits, a stolen base, and a wild pitch. Today’s competition marked the second game in a row where the Hawkeye lineup featured three or more multi-hit performances. Eric Toole (2), Jake Mangler (2), Joel Booker (2), and Nick Roscetti (2) each recorded a pair of hits.
“It was a good day offensively,” said Heller. It’s good to be able to get that production out of the bottom of the order. Nick Roscetti has been producing towards the end of the lineup which is great to have. Mangler stayed hot too with a pair of hits today. Eric Toole added on with a couple hits and led the game off with a single and Joel Booker tacked on a pair of hits as well.”
Houston Baptist threatened in the second and fourth innings with a pair of runs to narrow the deficit, 5-2. Iowa starter Josh Martsching surrendered the initial score after tossing two innings of one-hit baseball. Freshman Nick Allgeyer allowed the second Husky score in the fourth inning, but limited the home team to just the single hit through two innings of work. Allgeyer (2-0) was credited with the win.
Scoreless through the middle of the contest, Iowa’s offense came alive late in the game. Schenck-Joblinske plated his second run of the day in the sixth inning to put Iowa in front, 6-2. The junior transfer from Kirkwood Community College drew ball four on 3-1 count and later scored off a Houston Baptist throwing error.
Junior Jimmy Frankos sealed the win in the eighth inning. The third-year catcher took one inside for the free base and eventually crossed home on a Mangler RBI-double to left field. Frankos’ run put Iowa on top 7-2.
A solid effort from the Iowa bullpen helped solidify the win down the stretch. Four Iowa pitchers — Nick Gallagher, Brandon Shulista, Tyler Radtke, and Nick Hubbing — combined for five innings of shutout baseball where they only allowed three hits.
“It was good to see some of the guys who haven’t thrown a lot get their first road action,” said Heller. “For Nick Allgeyer and Nick Gallagher it’s good to see them out on the mound. With John Martsching coming off of Tommy John surgery, he gets better every time he goes out there. It was a good day for us on the mound and we were in control the whole way which was nice.”
Houston Baptist starter Brody Toal (0-2) suffered the loss. The junior transfer from Eastfield College tossed 1.2 innings and gave up five runs on three hits and two walks.
“It was a great way to end the series after getting off to a slow start,” said Heller. We came back professionally and handled our business and tied the series.”
The Hawkeyes will return to action Friday, taking on the University of Kansas at Hoglund Park in Lawrence, Kansas.