Hickman's 2-Run Single Lifts Hawkeyes in 12th Inning
March 10, 2013
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Freshman Blake Hickman hit a two RBI single in the top of the 12th inning to guide the University of Iowa baseball team to a 6-4 win over West Virginia on Sunday in the final game of the Snowbird Classic.
The Hawkeyes (7-6) finished the Snowbird Classic with a 3-0 record, as they defeated Maine, 9-2, on Friday and Georgetown, 7-2, on Saturday. It is the first time Iowa has won three games at a three day tournament since sweeping three games at the Austin Peay Tournament in 2006.
"It was a big weekend for our team," said UI head coach Jack Dahm. "We grew up in a lot of phases and it was a great team effort all weekend long. We had a lot of guys help us and step up when they got their opportunities."
Four Hawkeyes -- Hickman, junior Taylor Zeutenhorst, and sophomores Taylor Kaufman and Jake Mangler -- posted multi-hit efforts. Hickman went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs, Zeutenhorst went a perfect 4-for-4 with a double, a triple, two runs scored, and an RBI, Kaufman went 3-for-5 with a run scored, and Mangler went 2-for-6 with an RBI, extending his hit streak to six games. Hickman, Kaufman, and Zeutenhorst all set new career-bests for hits in a game. Hickman and Zeutenhorst hit in the No. 8 and No. 9 spots in the lineup.
"Blake and Taylor (Zeutenhorst) have the capability to be some of our better hitters," said Dahm. "They're talented and it was good to see them perform. It makes it tough when you get production from the bottom of the order, but I look forward to when we can get the entire order going."
West Virginia (6-9) took an early 1-0 lead, as Matt Frazier hit an RBI single in the bottom of the first inning.
Iowa tied the score, 1-1, in the third inning. Hickman led off the frame with a double to left field, and would later score after Mangler grounded out to the West Virginia shortstop.
The Mountaineers regained the lead in their half of the third, plating two runs via Jacob Rice and Ryan Tuntland RBI singles.
The Hawkeyes closed the gap to 3-2 in the top of the fifth inning. Zeutenhorst tripled to right-center field to open the inning. He would score a batter later, as sophomore Kris Goodman was credited with an RBI after grounding out.
Iowa tied the score, 3-3, in the seventh inning after sophomore Jake Yacinich bunted and beat the throw to first base to score Zeutenhorst. It was Yacinich's 11th RBI of the season, which is tops on the team.
The Hawkeyes took their first lead an inning later. With one out, Zeutenhorst delivered his second extra-base hit of the game, doubling to left-center to plate Hickman.
West Virginia evened the score, 4-4, with one out in the bottom of the ninth, as Alan Filauro crossed the plate after a Brady Wilson sacrifice fly.
The Mountaineers threatened in the bottom of the 11th inning, loading the bases with one out. Senior Andrew Hanse worked out of the jam, striking out Ryan McGroom and inducing a Tuntland fly out.
The score remained tied until the Hickman's single in the top of the 12th that scored senior Dan Sheppard and Kaufman. It was Hickman's first two RBIs of the season.
Sophomore Nick Hibbing closed the door in the bottom of the 12th; picking up his second save after the Hawkeyes turned a double play for the final two outs. Hanse was given the win, improving to 2-0 this season. Hanse allowed one run in three innings. Senior Ricky Sandquist opened on the mound for Iowa, his first start of the season. Sandquist tossed five innings, giving up three runs and fanning five batters. Kaufman relieved Sandquist, allowing one hit and zero earned runs over three innings.
"Our pitchers made some big pitches for us," said Dahm. "Andrew worked through a bases loaded jam in a tie game and Nick got the double play for us to end the game. I was really proud of our pitching."
Iowa has now won both of its games that have gone into extra-inning this season. The Hawkeyes won 6-2 in 10 innings against New Mexico on Feb. 23.
The Hawkeyes return to action next weekend against Nebraska-Omaha. Iowa will play at home for the first time this season, hosting UNO in a three-game series at Duane Banks Field. The Hawkeyes and Mavericks will play at 4:05 p.m. on Friday, before playing at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. All times are Central.