April, 18, 2015
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By BEN SCHMITZ
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Junior Blake Hickman threw seven shutout innings and the Hawkeye offense posted season highs in hits and runs, leading the 14th-ranked University of Iowa baseball team to a 13-4 rout of Northwestern in the opening game of a Saturday doubleheader at Duane Banks Field.
The win propels the Hawkeyes to their fourth straight Big Ten series victory and seventh series win of the season. Iowa has won five-straight Big Ten series dating back to last season — the longest stretch since 1990.
Hickman (6-1) was solid, limiting the Wildcats’ offense to six hits and a trio of walks. The right-hander had three strikeouts to improve to 4-0 in Big Ten play with a 1.88 ERA.
Iowa’s offense provided Hickman with all the run support he would need, racking up a season-high 13 runs on 16 hits — tied for the most in 2015. Four Hawkeyes posted multi-hit games with seniors Jake Mangler (3-for-5, 5 RBIs) and Kris Goodman (3-for-5, 3 RBIs, 2 R) leading the way. Mangler’s five RBIs are a career-high.
The Hawkeye bats came to life in the second inning; building a 4-0 lead, using four hits and a pair of walks. Senior Sean Moore got things started with a walk and scored on a one-out, two-run home run off the bat of Goodman over the Sharp Family Videoboard in left field. It was Goodman’s team-leading third long ball this season.
Juniors Nick Roscetti and Daniel Aaron Moriel kept the inning alive with back-to-back singles before senior Eric Toole drew a walk to load the bases. Junior Tyler Peyton pushed the lead to 4-0, delivering a two-run single to right-centerfield.
Following a scoreless third Iowa’s offense scored in each of the final five innings, pushing its lead to 13-0.
Roscetti reached on a single to left field and scored on a Toole sacrifice fly in the fourth; Moore had an RBI double, plating Peyton, and Goodman drove in his third run, pushing the lead to 7-0 in the fifth.
Mangler scored Iowa’s eighth run on a Peyton double in the sixth before Iowa pushed three runs across the plate in the seventh and two in the eighth. After narrowly missing a grand slam, Mangler had a two-run single to left to stretch the lead to 10-0 before Toole scored on a wild pitch, giving Iowa a 11-0 advantage.
Two runs in the eighth capped the scoring for the Hawkeyes. Junior Jimmy Frankos singled home Goodman for the 12th run, and Mangler lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to score Frankos for his fifth RBI of the contest.
Redshirt sophomore Jared Mandel pitched the final two innings in relief. After sitting down the Wildcats 1-2-3 in the eighth, Mandel gave up four runs (two earned) in the ninth on a pair of hits, including a solo home run from Grant Peikert.
Northwestern starter Matt Portland (1-5) suffered the loss, giving up seven runs on nine hits in four innings.