Pitching, NIU Error Lifts Iowa to 3-2 Victory
April 24, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Five pitchers and a Northern Illinois error lifted the University of Iowa baseball team to a 3-2 victory Wednesday evening at Duane Banks Field.
Freshman Calvin Mathews started on the hill for the Hawkeyes and threw five strong innings, taking a no-decision. The Bloomfield, Iowa, native allowed one run on three hits, striking out three.
"Calvin threw the ball well," said UI head coach Jack Dahm "The biggest thing to me is that he didn't walk anyone. He only gave up three hits and attacked the strike zone. He is gaining confidence and he set the tone for us tonight."
The Hawkeyes (15-20) took their first and last lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning courtesy of an error by Northern Illinois second baseman Connor Duckhorn. Junior Trevor Kenyon and sophomore Taylor Kaufman opened the frame with back-to-back walks, and advanced to second and third with one out. After a ground out, freshman Blake Hickman stepped to the plate with two outs. Hickman grounded a 1-1 pitch that went through the legs of Duckhorn, allowing Kenyon and Kaufman to score and giving the Hawkeyes a 3-2 advantage.
Northern Illinois (16-22) threatened to regain the lead in the top of the eighth inning, loading the bases with two outs against freshman Josh Martsching. Martsching, a Bloomfield, Iowa, native, did not give in, inducing a ground out to escape the jam.
Mathews was relieved by Martsching, Kaufman, and sophomores Andrew Hedrick and Nick Hibbing. Each reliever threw an inning, combining to hold NIU to one run on three hits over four innings. Hedrick was credited with the win, his first victory of the season. Kaufman collected his third save, tying Hibbing for the team lead.
"It was very important for Taylor to come out and pitch well," Dahm said. "He had a rough outing at Penn State on Saturday and it was good to see him bounce back."
Sophomore Jake Mangler plated Iowa's first run in the fourth inning. The Clinton, Iowa, native hit a sacrifice fly to center field that allowed Kaufman to cross the plate.
The Huskies scored single runs in the fourth and sixth innings, as Micah McCulloch (RBI double) and Alex Klonowski (RBI single) each drove in runs.
Sophomore Eric Toole was the only Hawkeye to record a multi-hit game, going 2-of-3 at the plate. It was Toole's second straight multi-hit performance, and his 10th of the season. The Council Bluffs, Iowa, native also stole a base against NIU, moving his team-best total to 17.
Iowa will host Big Ten-rival Minnesota at Duane Banks Field on April 26-28. The teams will open the series Friday at 6:05 p.m. (CT) followed by 1:05 p.m. (CT) match-ups on Saturday and Sunday. The series opener will be televised on BTN.