April 22, 2015
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By BEN SCHMITZ
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Junior Eric Schenck-Joblinske drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 11th- inning to give the 17th-ranked University of Iowa baseball team a 4-3 walkoff victory over Northern Illinois on Wednesday at Banks Field. It was the Hawkeyes’ second walkoff win in four games.
“The great thing about this team is they never quit. They find a way to win despite the situation. We didn’t execute in every situation tonight but I know they’re going to go out and give it their all each and every day.”
Entering the bottom of the ninth on the wrong end of a 3-2 ball game, senior Jake Mangler put himself in scoring position with a leadoff double to right field. The Clinton, Iowa, native scored on a Dan Potempa single through the left side to plate the equalizer and force extra innings.
Scoreless in the 10th, the Iowa bats started to heat up in the 11th. Mangler, Kris Goodman, and Taylor Kaufman connected on three straight one-out singles to load the bases. NIU closer Andrew Frankenreider got the second out via a strikeout before Schenck-Joblinske stepped in.
The Dike, Iowa, native faced a 3-2 count before drawing ball four to solidify the RBI-walk, which drove in the game-winning run.
“Taylor Kaufman’s at-bat was the key to winning that 11th inning,” said Heller. “He battled and battled, fought off pitches, swung at the right times, and hung in there for an unbelievable at bat.”
Offensively, Northern Illinois was the first to strike in Wednesday night’s nonconference action. The Huskies’ Johnny Zubek tallied the initial run in the top of the third. Zubek reached on a one-out single to left field and scored on a fielder’s choice. Brad Wood registered the RBI.
The Hawkeyes waited until the fourth inning to generate their offensive attack. Senior Kris Goodman got things started with a leadoff double to right-center field. Following a walk and a 1-6-3 double play that scored Goodman, Schenck-Joblinske stepped into the batter’s box with two outs and delivered on the first pitch, belting a solo shot over the right field wall to put the Hawkeyes in front, 2-1.
“It was good to see Eric drive one out of the park early tonight,” said Heller. “He has been driving the ball incredibly well in practice, and it’s nice to see his hard work pay off where he can bring his best swing into the game like he did tonight.”
The Huskies answered in the top of the fifth, retaking a 3-2 lead off a pair of unearned runs. Northern Illinois’ Justin Fletcher reached on a defensive error and scored on a Zubek single to centerfield. Zubek would eventually plate the go ahead run off a Brian Sisler double down the left field line.
Junior Luke Vandermaten (2-0) was credited with the win after receiving the nod in the top of the 10th inning. The right-hander surrendered a walk to open the frame, but settled in and retired six straight Huskie batters to solidify Iowa’s 27th win this season.
The Hawkeyes (27-11) return to action Friday at 6 p.m. (CT), hosting No. 25 Nebraska in the opener of a three-game weekend series.