Hawkeyes Fall to Penn State in Series Opener
April 20, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa baseball team dropped a 5-2 decision to Penn State on Friday night at Duane Banks Field. After playing on the road the last three weekends, the Hawkeyes are hosting the Nittany Lions in a three-game set this weekend.
"When we had guys in scoring position, we didn't have great at-bats," said head coach Jack Dahm. "We needed to trust our approach. We had our chances, but weren't able to get it done. Tonight, we tried to do too much in key situations."
The Iowa offense was led by freshman Eric Toole and senior Mike McQuillan. Toole tallied a career-high four hits. He finished 4-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, notching his fifth career multiple-hit contest. McQuillan went 3-for-5 with an RBI, recording his team-leading 13th multi-hit game. Freshman Jake Mangler also recorded a multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-4. The Hawkeyes out-hit the Nittany Lions, 10-9, losing for only the fourth time this season when recording more hits than their opponent (11-4).
"He put the ball in play and made their defense work," said Dahm about Toole. "That is the perfect example of somebody playing within themselves. That is a perfect example of how we want our entire team to play. We have to come out and be ready to play tomorrow."
After a scoreless first inning, Penn State (17-20, 5-5) struck first in the top of the second. The visitors pushed across two runs on one hit and a Hawkeye error to grab an early 2-0 lead.
Iowa (15-18, 4-6) had at least one base runner the second through sixth innings, but came up empty in each of those frames. Penn State used double play balls to end Hawkeye scoring threats in the third and the fifth. The Black and Gold broke through in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single by Toole.
The Nittany Lions responded with three insurance runs in the next frame. Penn State used four hits, including two doubles to opening the inning, to make the score 5-1.
In the bottom of the eighth, Iowa threatened again with two, two-out singles, but was unable to push across any runs. The Hawkeyes tallied a run in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by McQuillan to make the score 5-2. With runners at first and second, freshman Jake Yacinich lined one down the left field but it was snagged but the Penn State third baseman to end the game.
Jarred Hippen started for Iowa and took the loss. The senior, starting for the first time in two weeks due to a rain-out, pitched seven and a third innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits. He struck out five. Tim Fangman and Taylor Kaufman saw action out of the Iowa bullpen.
Joe Kurrasch earned the win for Penn State. He pitched six innings, allowing zero runs on five Hawkeye hits.
The Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions entered the contest tied at seventh in the conference with 4-5 records. Iowa and Penn State resume their three-game set at Duane Banks Field on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. The two teams will conclude the series Sunday at noon.