March 28, 2015
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By MATT WEITZEL
IOWA CITY, Iowa — A strong outing from University of Iowa starting pitcher Blake Hickman propelled the Hawkeyes to a 5-1 victory over No. 19 Indiana on Saturday afternoon at Duane Banks Field. The win moves Iowa to 2-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since 1996 and clinches the series victory.
Iowa defeated Indiana, 2-0, on Friday night for its first win over a ranked opponent since the 2012 season.
Hickman posted his best outing of the year, going a season-best eight innings, allowing only one run, striking out six and scattering three hits. His performance earned the Chicago native his third win of the season. The Hawkeye right-hander silenced the Hoosier bats the first 4 1/3 innings, before Will Nolden singled to right field for the first Indiana hit of the day.
“I’m happy with the way our guys played today,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “Blake set the tone for us on the mound; he was dominant early. He has been progressively getting better with each outing and this was the best he has been this year.”
After five innings of scoreless baseball, Iowa’s first four batters in the bottom of the seventh crossed home plate to stretch the advantage to 5-0. Nick Roscetti hit his first career home run over the left field fence after Jimmy Frankos led off the frame with a base hit to left. After a walk and hit-by-pitch, Jake Mangler clubbed a 2-RBI double to left center scoring Nick Day and Toole.
After blanking the Hoosiers in Friday’s series opener, Iowa silenced Indiana’s bat the first seven innings on Saturday. Indiana (16-7, 1-3) scored its first run of the series after 16 innings, dating back to Friday’s opener, with a two-out RBI double in the top of the eighth.
Ryan Erickson entered the game in the top of the ninth and sat the Hoosiers down in order to preserve the Iowa victory.
“Putting four on the board in the seventh with Nick’s two-run home run and Jake’s two-run double gave us some breathing room and Erickson having a clean ninth was outstanding,” said Heller.
The three-game series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT). The game can be seen on BTN Plus on BTN2Go.