Hawkeyes Hold Off Purdue, 4-3

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The University of Iowa baseball team knocked off Purdue, 4-3, in thrilling fashion at Alexander Field on Saturday afternoon. 

All three phases of the game contributed to Iowa’s victory, beginning with a strong start from sophomore Cade Obermueller on the mound.

“I was happy with how our guys bounced back today,” head coach Rick Heller said. “This was a good team win where we showed a lot of toughness and grit. Our team cleaned things up defensively and held them to five hits. We came out ready to play and put some runs up in the first inning. We had a good start from Cade (Obermueller). He battled and logged some innings for us.”

Obermueller pitched five innings, giving up four hits and three earned runs. The Iowa City, Iowa, native struck out four Boilermaker batters. Iowa was led offensively by designated hitter Davis Cop, who went 3-for-4 with 3 RBI. Andy Nelson collected three singles and reached base four times, while Sam Petersen had a pair of hits for the Hawkeyes.

Iowa scored first, plating two runs in the first on a two-RBI single by Cop. The Boilermakers would answer with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning. An RBI-single by Petersen in the second inning gave Iowa the lead once again. Purdue would tie the game again in the fourth.

Obermueller turned duties over to the bullpen in the sixth in a 3-3 game. In the seventh inning, Kyle Huckstorf led off with a single. He would advance to third base after two wild pitches. Cop collected Iowa’s clutch hit with a single to bring home Huckstorf, giving Iowa the 4-3 lead.

Aaron Savary earned the win by firing 2 1/3 innings, striking out two batters and allowing just one hit. Jack Young followed and got the Hawkeyes out of trouble in the eighth. After Purdue put two runners on base, Young was called in from the bullpen. The Leclaire, Iowa, native allowed another runner to reach, setting up a bases-loaded situation for Purdue with one out. Young would secure a strikeout and a sharp lineout to Ben Wilmes in right field to end the threat unscathed.

“The bullpen was outstanding today,” Heller added.  “Aaron Savary did a really nice job and then Jack Young bailed us out in the eighth. It was a tough situation, but Jack continues to do a great job out of the bullpen for us.”

Benjamin DeTaeye came in with the save opportunity for Iowa in the ninth inning. Leadoff hitter Mike Bolton Jr. sent a fly ball to deep center. Huckstorf turned and sprinted towards the warning track before making an over-the-shoulder catch to keep Bolton Jr. off base. DeTaeye earned his first save of the season after forcing a groundout and flyout to secure the win.

“We are pleased to have Ben (DeTaeye) back in the mix. He’s feeling confident and beginning to throw like we all knew he could,” said Heller. “He came in and closed the door. Huckstorf made an unbelievable, Willie-Mays-like catch and that completely changed the ninth inning.”

Iowa outhit Purdue, 14-5. The Hawkeye pitching staff stranded nine Boilermaker baserunners.

UP NEXT: The Hawkeyes (12-10, 1-1 B1G) go for the series win over Purdue on Sunday at Alexander Field. First pitch is slated for Noon (CT) in West Lafayette.