March 12, 2016
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By JAMES ALLAN
EMERSON, Ga. — Seton Hall used a four-run first inning to catapult it to a 7-1 victory over the University of Iowa baseball team Saturday afternoon at the Spring Swing at LakePointe.
The Pirates jumped on Iowa starter Tyler Peyton in their opening at-bat, plating four runs on three hits. The damaging hit was a three-run home run off the bat of Brett Fontenelli to push Seton Hall’s lead to 4-0.
“(Peyton) was rusty when he came out, wasn’t sharp, and we’re behind from the get-go,” said UI head coach Rick Heller.
Peyton settled in, allowing one hit over the next four innings before Seton Hall added a single run in the sixth and two in the seventh against UI reliever Ryan Erickson. Peyton (0-3) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on five hits over five innings.
Erickson allowed three runs (two earned) on just a single hit, but issued two walks and had two hit by pitches, and freshman Shane Ritter threw a clean ninth.
The Hawkeyes finished with eight hits in the game, including two in the second and fourth innings, but couldn’t string anything together. An inning-ending double play ended the second and a strikeout and line out ended the fourth.
Iowa got on the board in the seventh. Peyton drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and moved to third on a Grant Klenovich single. Peyton scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by Austin Guzzo, but that’s all the Hawkeyes would muster in the inning.
The Hawkeyes put two runners on base in the eighth and ninth innings against Seton Hall reliever Zach Schellenger, but three straight strikeouts ended the eighth and back-to-back strikeouts ended the game.
“”We had our chances, but couldn’t get a clutch hit,” said Heller. “Tonight the free bases hurt us, we had eight or nine and every one came back to cost us. We out hit them, 8-6, and lose, 7-1, and that’s because of the free bases.”
Cullen Dana (2-0) earned the victory, allowing one run on six hits over seven innings. Schellenger got the final six outs, striking out five of the 10 batters he faced.
Peyton led the Hawkeyes with two hits, finishing 2-for-3 with a run scored. It was his second multi-hit game of the season.
Iowa (4-8) returns to action Sunday, facing Savannah State at noon (CT).
“A lot of times when things are the worst, good things are around the corner if you stay focused on the process,” said Heller. “I know we’re going to hit at some point in time. I don’t know when, but hopefully it’s tomorrow.”