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By Ben Schmitz
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Six Hawkeye pitchers combined on a two-run outing Sunday afternoon as the University of Iowa baseball team downed the University of Kansas, 6-2, at Hoglund Ballpark in Lawrence, Kansas.
With the win, the Hawkeyes (14-5) claimed the three-game series, 2-1, over the Jayhawks (9-14).
“We made our own bet today and we were very fortunate to find a way to win this game,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “It’s clean living when your opponent strands 17 base runners and we walk seven and make a couple errors.
“We were uncharacteristic on the mound about how we pitched today. It was frustrating, but we worked it out and made plays defensively in pressure situations.”
The Black and Gold opened the scoring in the second inning with a solo-shot from senior Kris Goodman — one-of-three solo homers for the Hawkeyes on Sunday. Goodman, a native of Apple Valley, Minnesota, faced a 1-1 count with no outs before taking Kansas’ Drew Morovick (2-3) deep for his second home run on the year.
“We began to swing the bats better yesterday and it was even further improved today, both up and down the lineup,” said Heller. “It was good to see us swinging the bats like we can — we had 14 hits and Eric Toole and Joel Booker both had two good days.”
The Hawkeye bats continued to shine midway through the contest. A three-run fifth inning extended the visitor’s lead to 4-0. Senior Eric Toole got things started with a double to right center and scored on a single through the right side from senior Jake Mangler. Mangler would eventually score off a Dan Potempa single and junior Tyler Peyton applied the final run, coming home on a Goodman groundout double-play.
Toole finished 4-for-4 on the day for the second time this season. The multi-hit performance extends the Council Bluff, Iowa, native’s streak of reaching base safely to 18 games, which includes an 11-game hitting streak.
Senior Nick Day added to Iowa’s scoring efforts in the sixth inning, this time with a solo-homer to put Iowa in front, 5-0. The deep ball marked the first of the Solon, Iowa, native’s career. Junior Joel Booker capped the scoring in the series finale — going deep on a 1-0 count to push Iowa ahead, 6-1.
The Jayhawk offense would answer in the bottom of the seventh and ninth innings with two rallies that were limited to a pair of runs via Michael Tinsley and Joven Afenir. With bases loaded and the tying run at the plate on both occasions, the Hawkeye defense settled in and closed the door on the home team’s ability to climb back.
UI senior Brandon Schulista played a key role in shutting down the rally-bats in the seventh inning — forcing a pop up that provided an escape route for the Iowa defense. Schulista (1-1) was credited with the win following an inning of hitless work. Calvin Matthews started the contest and tossed 4.2 innings of three-hit work. Freshman Nick Allgeyer was credited with his first career save.
“Calvin was really laboring today and we wanted to keep him in there and get him the win but it just wasn’t his day to finish,” said Heller. “He’s a warrior and he’ll find a way to get it done even when he doesn’t feel good.
“We’ll come back Wednesday and get ready to take on Bradley. They’re having of the best starts to their season in school history and it’ll be a good test for us.”
The Hawkeyes return to action on Wednesday at 3 p.m. (CT), welcoming the Bradley University Braves to Duane Banks Field for a one-game mid-week matchup.