By JAMES ALLAN
SAN PEDRO DE MACORIS, D.R. — The University of Iowa baseball team closed out its trip to the Dominican Republic with an 11-3 victory over the Paulino Baseball Academy on Thursday afternoon.
The game was a late addition after the originally scheduled game against the Royals Academy was canceled because of wet field conditions.
“The guys at the Dominican Baseball Academy fought to find us a game and the Paulino Academy played us and I am thankful for those guys for allowing us to come out here and play,” said UI head coach Rick Heller.
“We got the pitchers innings that we hadn’t been able to use during the week. Grant Judkins got the start and it would have been disappointing if we would have left here and not seen him throw. He did a nice job, pitched well.
“Offensively, we got at-bats for everybody and all the good stuff happened that we needed to. We appreciate (Paulino) for finding a way to play us at the last second.”
The Hawkeyes scored two or more runs in three innings and tallied at least one run in five frames. Iowa finished with nine hits in the game.
Judkins pitched four innings in the start, allowing only a fourth-inning single. He struck out the side in the third and had a pair of strikeouts in the fourth.
After leaving the bases loaded in the first, Iowa sent eight batters to the plate in the second inning, leading to a three-run frame. Justin Jenkins’ sacrifice fly drove in the game’s first run, junior Tyler Cropley doubled in the second run, and junior Jake Adams pushed the lead to 3-0 with Iowa’s second sacrifice fly of the inning.
Iowa added to its lead on a Jenkins RBI single in the third before pushing two runs across in the fourth. The Hawkeyes pushed their advantage to 5-0 in the fourth on a two-run home run from sophomore Robert Neustrom.
Iowa added a single run in the sixth and batted around in the eighth, pushing its final four runs across the plate. The game was called after the eighth inning.
Senior Mason McCoy led the Hawkeyes, finishing 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Iowa finishes the Dominican trip with a 2-2 record. The team will open the 2017 season at South Florida from Feb. 17-19 in Tampa, Florida.