Hawkeyes Win Nightcap, Beat Mississippi State
March 4, 2011
STARKVILLE, Miss. - - The Iowa baseball team defeated Mississippi State, 5-3, Friday night at Dudy Noble Field in a contest that lasted five hours due to a 2:08 rain delay. The game was the second of the day for the Hawkeyes after falling 10-6 to Georgia State earlier.
Junior Trevor Willis had a stellar game, going 4-for-5 with a triple and an RBI. Seniors Tyson Blaser and Zach McCool also had multi-hit games, each collecting two hits. McCool also had two RBI and Blaser scored a run.
Iowa (2-5) grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Willis ripped a triple down the left field line to start the game and scored on a McCool RBI groundout.
Mississippi State (8-2) evened the score in the bottom of the fourth on a bases loaded walk off Hawkeye starter Jared Hippen. Hippen only yielded one tally in the fourth, stranding runners on every base. The junior lefty was only able to throw four innings before the game was delayed because of heavy rain. Hippen surrendered five hits and only one run.
The Hawkeyes, who played errorless ball in both games today, scored the next two runs in the fifth. Willis plated Taylor Zeutenhorst on an RBI single and Mike McQuillan drove home Willis on an RBI single to left center to give Iowa a 3-1 advantage.
The Bulldogs cut the deficit to 3-2 in the fifth when it collected an RBI double off Iowa reliever Zach Kenyon. In the bottom of the sixth, Kenyon accomplished a rare feat. The senior righty struck out four batters. The third hitter struck out swinging, but reached on a wild pitch. Kenyon then got the next batter to strike out swinging.
McCool registered his second RBI of the game on a single to right, which plated Kurt Lee, to push Iowa's lead to 4-2 in the seventh. Iowa tacked on an insurance run in the eighth when Andrew Host smacked an RBI single to left, extending the visitors lead to 5-2.
Kenyon thwarted a Bulldog scoring threat in the bottom of the seventh. With the bases loaded, the native of Davenport struck out his seventh batter of the game with the bases loaded to keep the Hawkeyes in front by a pair.
Kenyon earned his first victory of the season, throwing four strong innings, striking out a season-high eight batters, while allowing only one run on two hits. Kevin Lee entered in the ninth inning and after surrendering a run and loading the bases, the senior stopper notched back-to-back strikeouts to secure his first save of the season.
Iowa returns to action tomorrow when it plays Mississippi State at 4 p.m.