April 9, 2016
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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Senior Jimmy Frankos’ safety squeeze in the bottom of the 10th inning propelled the University of Iowa baseball team to a 4-3 walk-off victory over Illinois in the opening game of a Saturday doubleheader at Duane Banks Field.
It was the Hawkeyes’ second walk-off victory this season.
Senior Joel Booker started 10th with a leadoff double down the left field line before advancing to third base on a Zach Daniels groundout. After the Illini intentionally walked Nick Roscetti to set up a potential double play, reliever J.D. Nielsen couldn’t field a comebacker on Frankos’ bunt, allowing Booker to score the game-winning run.
Iowa led 3-2 heading into the top of the ninth inning, but couldn’t hold its lead. Illinois’ Anthony Drago led off the inning with a single before the Illini used small ball to move him into scoring position. Pinch-hitter Luke Shilling tied the game with an opposite field RBI single against UI reliever Jared Mandel.
Illinois proceeded to load the bases against reliever Josh Martsching with one out before turning the reigns to senior Tyler Radtke — Iowa’s fourth pitcher of the inning. Radtke escaped the jam, getting the second out at the plate on a Michael Hurwitz ground ball to first base and Jason Goldstein flied out to end the inning.
The Hawkeyes jumped on Illinois starter Cody Sedlock early, scoring three runs in the first three innings. Roscetti started things off with a solo blast in the bottom of the first, lining a 94 mile per hour fastball over the fence in left field to give Iowa a 1-0 lead.
The Hawkeyes used three hits to stretch their lead to 3-0 in the third. Senior Eric Schenck-Joblinske led off the inning with a double to left field and he scored on an RBI single from Daniels. Frankos plated the second run with a sacrifice fly to left field.
UI starter C.J. Eldred was perfect through three, but Illini strung together four straight hits in the fourth to trim the lead to 3-2. Dan Rowbottom’s RBI single to right center plated the first run and Pat McInerney had an RBI double to left center.
Eldred was strong in his start, allowing two runs on six hits over seven innings for his fourth quality start of the season. He had five strikeouts to one walk. Radtke (1-1) earned the win, allowing one hit in 1 2/3 innings.
Sedlock allowed three runs on eight hits over eight innings, fanning 11. Andrew Mamlic (1-6) suffered the loss, allowing one run on one hit in 1 2/3 innings.
Booker and Roscetti combined for four of Iowa’s nine hits. Booker finished 2-for-5 with two runs, while Roscetti was 2-for-4 with a home run. Frankos had two RBIs, finishing 1-for-2.