April 3, 2015
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By JAMES ALLAN
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Junior Tyler Peyton pitched eight solid innings and the Hawkeyes pounded out 15 hits and played error-free baseball leading the 24th-ranked University of Iowa baseball team to a 9-1 series-opening victory over Purdue on Friday night at Alexander Field. The win moves Iowa to 4-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since 1989.
“It was a big night for Tyler,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “I am happy he was able to follow up his quality start last week with another one tonight. He went eight innings, punched out seven, and worked out of a jam in the eighth. I can’t say enough about his performance.”
Peyton (4-2) was masterful for a second-consecutive start, holding the Boilermakers scoreless through five innings and allowing just one run on seven hits over eight innings. The right-hander had seven strikeouts and just two walks in the contest to improve to 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA with 12 strikeouts against two walks in two Big Ten starts.
The Hawkeye offense spotted Peyton with an early lead in its first at-bat before stretching the advantage to 3-0 with two runs in the fourth. Iowa loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the first before senior Kris Goodman plated the first run with a one-out sacrifice fly.
Iowa used a pair of hits in the fourth to push the lead to 3-0. Junior Jimmy Frankos scored the first run on a Purdue throwing error after reaching on a fielder’s choice, and senior Nick Day knocked in the game’s third run with an RBI single up the middle to score Taylor Kaufman, who reached on a walk.
After forcing Purdue starter Shane Bryant out of the game after four, Iowa put the game away against the Boilermakers’ bullpen, scoring six runs against five pitchers over the final five innings.
“We swung the bats well tonight from start to finish,” said Heller. “The top of the order looked good with Toole, Mangler, and Peyton being solid. Up and down the lineup, it was a good team effort. We played solid defense, no errors, it was a good Friday night victory.”
Junior Nick Roscetti pushed Iowa’s lead to 4-0 in the sixth, leading off the inning with a hit by pitch, before Day singled to left field to put two runners on. After Roscetti stole third, Toole reached on an infield single, scoring Roscetti on the play. Iowa managed to load the bases with one out, but couldn’t come up with the big hit, as foul and ground out ended the frame.
The Boilermakers scored their only run in the bottom of the sixth, cutting the lead to 4-1, stringing together three hits with one out against Peyton. Kyle Johnson delivered an RBI single through the left side to knock in Brandon Krieg, but Peyton avoided further damage by inducing an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Iowa put the game away with a single run in the seventh before erupting for four runs in the eighth. Roscetti keyed a two-out rally in the seventh, singling with one out, stealing second, and scoring on a Toole RBI single.
The Hawkeyes had four hits and took advantage of a Purdue error in the eighth. Roscetti delivered the big blow, roping a bases-loaded double to left centerfield to score Peyton, Goodman, and Frankos to make the score 8-1. Roscetti crossed the plate for Iowa’s final run on an RBI single from Day.
“That was a big two-out hit by Roscetti and Day had another two-out RBI,” said Heller. “It was great to see the guys at the bottom of the order come through for us and driving in some runs.”
Five Hawkeyes posted multi-hit games, led by Roscetti, Peyton, and Day, who all had three hits. Roscetti finished 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBIs. The hit total matched a career-best, while the run and RBI totals are career-highs.
After Peyton got out of a bases-loaded jam unscathed in the eight, Iowa turned to redshirt sophomore Jared Mandel for the final inning, and the southpaw pitched a perfect ninth to finish the Hawkeyes’ 19th victory of the season.
Bryant (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits over four innings.
Iowa (19-7, 4-0) returns to action Saturday at 1 p.m. (CT) for the middle game of the three-game weekend series.