Hawkeyes Walk-Off Against Northwestern In Big Ten Opener
March 23, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa baseball team defeated Northwestern Friday in its Big Ten opener at Duane Banks Field, 3-2. Iowa won on a walk-off single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth by freshman Jake Yacinich. Senior Jarred Hippen tossed his ninth career complete game in the victory. The Hawkeyes (8-10, 1-0) have won five of their last seven contests.
With one away in the bottom of the ninth, senior Kasey Carling reached on an infield single. Freshman Kris Goodman grounded out on sacrifice bunt, advancing Carling to second. Northwestern intentionally walked senior Mike McQuillan, setting up the stage for Yacinich. With runners on first and second, and two outs, Yacinich drilled a single through the left side to score Carling from second and give Iowa the conference opener. McQuillan and Yacinich both went 2-for-4 and scored a run today.
"It was a great college baseball game, made even better by us winning," said head coach Jack Dahm. "Our team did a great job. Our execution in the last inning was terrific. Jake Yacinich has a chance to be a very special player; he had a great at-bat in the ninth. Jarred Hippen did an outstanding job. Northwestern's pitcher was outstanding also, but we continued to battle offensively. It was a great team effort and a great win. The key for us is to win the weekend. We have to come out ready to play tomorrow."
Northwestern (7-13, 0-1) took an early lead with a single tally in the top of the second. The Wildcats used a two-out rally to take a 1-0 lead. Geoff Rowan reached on a bunt single. Walker Moses then popped a double to right center to score Rowan.
Iowa grabbed the lead in the bottom of the sixth. With one away, McQuillan tripled to deep right center. Yacinich followed with an RBI-double to left center to even the score up at 1-1. Freshman Ryan Rumpf then laced a ball down the left field line to score Yacinich and give the Black and Gold a 2-1 lead.
The visitors evened up the score at 2-2 in the top of the ninth on a leadoff home run by Jack Havey.
Hippen started and earned his second win of the season (2-2). The senior ace tossed the complete game, his fifth complete game against Big Ten competition the last two seasons, allowing two runs while scattering nine hits. He struck out six Wildcats.
Northwestern starter Francis Brooke took a no-decision. He pitched eight innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits. Paul Snieder took the loss. He pitched two-thirds of an inning in the final frame, allowing one run on two hits.
Iowa and Northwestern continue their Big Ten opening three-game set Saturday at 1:05 p.m. The Hawkeyes and Wildcats will conclude play Sunday at 1:05 p.m. Both games will be played at Duane Banks Field.