By AUSTIN BRAMLEY
IOWA CITY, Iowa – A four-run eighth inning propelled the University of Iowa baseball team to a 5-1 victory over Purdue on Saturday afternoon at Duane Banks Field. The victory is Iowa’s first Big Ten win of the season and evens the weekend series at one game apiece
“I was pleased with our at-bats today, up-and-down the lineup,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “From the start, our guys were locked in.”
With the game tied at one, senior Mason McCoy got the offense flowing in the eighth, reaching on an infield single and advancing to second on a Purdue throwing error. Junior Jake Adams then doubled in the go-ahead run — his 29th RBI of the season — before Iowa tacked on three insurance runs.
“I saw they put a shift on me, so my approach was to hit it to the right side and get it through, knowing McCoy was on third,” said Adams. “I was able to execute and get that run in.”
Freshman Justin Jenkins followed with a slash single to right center to make the score 3-1, pinch-hitter Luke Farley doubled to left field to plate the fourth run, and Tyler Cropley’s sacrifice fly extended the lead to 5-1.
“That was a big play, it really showed a lot of savvy by a freshman,” Heller said. “I’m pleased and happy for Justin.
“Today looked like a day where we may only put one run on the board, but the guys stuck to the plan and gave us really good at bats. I’m really proud of them.”
Purdue grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fifth when Harry Shipley’s safety squeeze knocked in Evan Warden. The Hawkeyes tied the game in the sixth when McCoy scored on a Jenkins’ sacrifice fly.
Senior Ryan Erickson went 4 2/3 innings in his second start, giving up one run on six hits and he did not issue a walk. Sophomore Zach Daniels picked up the win in relief, tossing 3 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and striking out four. He retired 10 straight during one stretch.
Sophomore Shane Ritter got the final two outs for his second save in three games.
“Erickson gave us a good start,” Heller said. “We decided to use Daniels out of the bullpen early today and ride him as long as we could. When he’s on, he’s tough and can give you multiple innings.”
McCoy (3-for-4), Adams (2-for-4), and Matt Hoeg (2-for-3) each had multiple hits, paving the way for a 15-hit game for the Hawkeyes. Jenkins collected two RBIs.
Purdue’s Cameron Williams (1-1) suffered the loss, giving up two runs on two hits and failing to record an out.
Sunday’s rubber match is slated to begin at 1 p.m. (CT).