March 8, 2016
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By JACK ROSSI
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa baseball team scored 28 runs — the second-most in program history — in a 28-0 shutout victory over Northwestern College in the 2016 home opener Tuesday afternoon at Duane Banks Field.
“Everything went perfect, it couldn’t have been a better day,” UI coach Rick Heller said. “It started with the weather, a warm sunny day at home. We needed a day at home and to have one this early in March was great for the guys.
“We came out with a business-like attitude, the young pitchers did a great job throwing strikes, and we played good defense all day long, and we jumped on them right away.”
The Hawkeyes started quickly, batting around the order in the first and second innings. Senior Nick Roscetti kicked things off with an RBI double and freshman Luke Farley barely missed a grand slam on his way to a two-hit, four-RBI day. After the first inning, Iowa led 5-0.
The following inning, Iowa plated nine more runs to make it 14-0 and that’s all the team needed as it nearly matched its season high of 15 runs through just two innings. Iowa’s pitchers took it from there.
Iowa pitchers combined to give up six hits and strike out seven. No Iowa pitcher threw for more than two innings as they shut down the Red Raider offense all afternoon. Starting pitcher freshman Cole McDonald (1-1) struck out two with zero walks to earn his first career victory. Freshman Sam Lizarraga had a team high three strikeouts.
The Red Raiders committed six errors, giving life to a team that had been looking for offense all season. The Hawkeyes played almost flawless defense, surrendering zero runs and committing no errors.
“We took advantage of the freebies they gave us,” Heller said. “That’s where we failed the first nine games. In the first nine games, there were games where we were given walks and some situations, if we would have got the hit we could have broke the game open.”
“Today, to see us do it in the first inning, a lot of guys were able to take a deep breath and we had quality at-bats up and down the lineup all day.”
Freshman Mitchell Boe preserved the shutout in the top of the seventh with the bases loaded when he dove to stop a ball headed for right field, throwing to record the final out of the game.
Nineteen Hawkeyes saw action with everyone contributing in one way or another. The three starters to not get substituted were sophomore Austin Guzzo, junior Mason McCoy, and Roscetti. Guzzo batted six times, scoring five runs and plating three more. Roscetti scored four runs with three walks, and McCoy scored four runs and had an RBI despite going hitless on the day.
Heading into the seventh, Iowa was looking to match the school record of 32 runs, set in 1989 against Quincy College, until the game was called by the coaches via a mercy rule, leaving the final score at 28-0.
The Hawkeyes (4-6) hit the road for the Spring Swing at LakePointe in Emerson, Georgia, from March 11-14. The first game is slated for a 3:05 p.m. (CT) first pitch against Nebraska-Omaha.