April 26, 2015
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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Junior Tyler Peyton pitched 8 1/3 innings of one-run ball and the Hawkeye offense pounded out 13 hits to send the 17th-ranked University of Iowa baseball team to a 5-1 victory and series sweep over No. 25 Nebraska on Sunday at Duane Banks Field in front of a sellout crowd of 2,506.
“It was a great effort by our guys,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “Our pitchers did a nice job, and we fought hard at-bat wise, and came through with big at-bats when we needed them.
“If you would have told me we were going to sweep Nebraska without Tyler Peyton hitting or Nick Day in the lineup, I would have had a hard time believing that. To overcome the injuries we have and fill gaps is remarkable.”
The win is Iowa’s 30th of the 2015 season, giving the Hawkeyes back-to-back 30-win seasons for the first time since the 1989 and 1990 seasons. Iowa is 13-2 in Big Ten play, 1/2 game behind Illinois in the league standings. The Hawkeyes have won six consecutive Big Ten series (five this season) — the longest stretch in school history — including three three-game sweeps.
After missing his scheduled start in the series opener because of injury, Peyton was sharp, scattering six hits over the first eight innings before leaving in the ninth after giving up back-to-back one out singles. The right-hander tied a season-high with nine strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter to improve to 5-3 this season.
“We were all wondering how far Tyler would make it into the game,” said Heller. “Then he pitched as well as he has all season. He was lights out today.”
Senior Nick Hibbing closed things out, getting the final two outs en route to his team-leading fourth save of the season.
Iowa’s offense got going early, scoring single runs in the second and third innings, pushing two across in the fourth, and one in the fifth to give the Hawkeyes a 5-0 lead.
Senior Eric Toole knocked in Iowa’s first run in the second, using an RBI single to right field to plate junior Nick Roscetti, who led off the frame with a single. Iowa used a Kris Goodman single and a Dan Potempa double to start things off in the third before made the score 2-0 with an RBI groundout.
Iowa used a one-out rally in the fourth to stretch its lead to 4-0. Junior Eric Schenck-Joblinske led off the frame getting plunked by Nebraska starter Derek Burkamper before Toole tripled down the left field line. Mangler drove in his team-leading 31st run, plating Toole on an RBI groundout to second base.
The Hawkeyes scored for the fourth straight inning in the fifth courtesy of three hits. Iowa loaded the bases with one out on singles from Potempa, Roscetti, and redshirt junior Taylor Kaufman before scoring on a sacrifice fly off the bat of junior Jimmy Frankos, pushing the lead to 5-0.
Nebraska plated its only run in the sixth, using a pair of hits to break up Peyton’s shutout bid. Ryan Boldt singled to lead off the inning before scoring on a two-out double from third baseman Blake Headley, cutting the deficit to 5-1.
Peyton sat down the Cornhuskers in order in the seventh and eighth innings before Nebraska chased the starter from the contest with back-to-back singles in the ninth. After Hibbing entered in relief and gave up a single to Austin Christensen to load the bases, the right-hander struck out Elijah Dilday swinging to close out Iowa’s 30th win of the season.
Seven starters had at least one hit in the game and five different Hawkeyes posted multi-hit contests. Toole led the way with a 3-for-5 day at the plate with a triple, two RBIs, and a run scored, while Goodman (2-for-4), Potempa (2-for-3, 2 R), Roscetti (2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI), and Frankos (2-for-3, 1 RBI) all had two hits.
Iowa (30-11, 13-2) will host Sacramento State on Tuesday for a single game beginning at 4 p.m. (CT).