Hawkeyes Shut Down Northwestern in Rubber Match
March 25, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa baseball team defeated Northwestern Sunday in the rubber game of a three-game set at Duane Banks Field, 3-1. The Hawkeyes (9-11, 2-1) have won six of their last nine contests after taking the opening Big Ten series. Iowa has won three of its first four home games after playing its first 16 games of the season on the road. The Black and Gold are in a tie for first place after the opening conference weekend.
"It was a good series for us to win," said head coach Jack Dahm. "Northwestern is a veteran team. I am very happy for our guys."
After three scoreless innings to open the game, Northwestern (8-14, 1-2) took an early lead with an unearned run in the top of the fourth.
The Hawkeyes answered in the bottom of the inning, pushing across two runs to grab a 2-1 lead. Senior Phil Keppler (2-for-3 with a run scored) led off the frame with a single and then quickly stole second. Senior Chett Zeise reached on a fielding error, putting runners at first and third. With one away, Zeise stole second and the throw to second got away allowing Keppler to score from third. With two down, sophomore catcher Keith Brand singled up the middle to score Zeise and give Iowa a one-run advantage.
Sasha Kuebel made his first career Big Ten start and earned his second win of the season to move to 2-0. The freshman tossed seven complete innings, allowing one unearned run while scattering two hits. He struck out one Wildcat and allowed only one walk.
"Sasha (Kuebel) was outstanding today," said Dahm. "I cannot say enough about the composure he had; hats off to him. He executed his game plan."
Senior Nick Brown closed out the final two innings to earn his third career save. He allowed one hit and struck out three Wildcats.
Northwestern starter Zach Morton took the loss. He pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits.
The Hawkeyes will host Nebraska-Omaha in a mid-week game on Wednesday at 6:05 p.m. at Duane Banks Field. Iowa continues conference action when it travels to Indiana for a three-game set beginning Friday.