April 25, 2008
LANSING, MI -- The Iowa baseball team trounced Michigan State, 16-2 at Oldsmobile Park Friday night. The Hawkeye offense amassed a season-high 20 hits, Iowa committed no errors and the pitching staff only allowed two runs on eight hits to win the first contest of a four-game series. In the win, Iowa advances to 16-22 overall and 6-11 in the Big Ten. Michigan State falls to 14-22 and 4-12 in the Big Ten.
Brock Alberts earned his team-best fourth victory of the season for the Hawkeyes. The senior pitched eight innings, which is a season-best for any Hawkeye pitcher, allowing only one run on seven hits and striking out three. Patrick Schatz threw one inning of relief for the Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeye offense collected 10 earned runs on 11 hits and two walks in only three innings off Spartan ace Chris Cullen. Cullen entered the game with a 4-1 record and a team-best 2.85 ERA.
"It was a tough day to pitch with the wind blowing out and he delivered," Head Coach Jack Dahm said. "Brock did a great job. His good pitching made things a lot easier for us."
Sparking the Black and Gold was Matt Mossey, who went a perfect 4-for-4 with two doubles, a walk and an RBI and scored four runs. Wes Freie collected a game-high four RBI, going 2-for-5. Kody McManis went 2-for-3 with three RBI and two walks. Caleb Curry went 2-for-4 with two stolen bases and an RBI. T.J. Cataldo was 2-for-4 with two walks, two RBI and a triple and Kurtis Muller went 2-for-4 with a stolen base and two walks. Eight Hawkeyes recorded multi-hit games and another eight recorded an RBI.
The Hawkeyes scored first, plating two in the top of the first to take a 2-0 early lead. Justin Toole reached on a fielder's choice, followed by a Curry singled through the left side and both runners stole a base to put runners on second and third with one outs. Freie hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Toole to put Iowa on the board. Muller took advantage of the runner on third, and hit an RBI-single to score another Hawkeye run.
Iowa's offense exploded in the top of the second, plating eight runs on seven hits and sending 13 Hawkeyes to the plate to take a commanding 10-0 lead. Mossey doubled to right field to start the Hawkeye slugfest. Cataldo advanced Mossey to third with a single up the middle. McManis came up big the no-out RBI single through the left side. One out later, Riffel picked up an RBI with a fielder's choice to put runners on first and second. Toole continued things with a single to load the bases. Curry picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to score Cataldo. Freie came up big a two-RBI single to right field. Mossey continued the Hawkeye slugfest with an RBI single to the shortstop. Cataldo tripled down the right field line to pick up another two Hawkeye runs to make it 10-0.
"We got so many hits with two strikes," Dahm said. "Our guys had a great approach and waited for it. They were disciplined and went the opposite way with it."
The Spartans scored their first run in the third, scoring on a Steve Gerstenberger RBI-double to make it 10-1.
Iowa added two insurance runs in the fourth, taking advantage of four consecutive walks to make it a 12-1 advantage. Muller picked up a stolen base in the inning and Riffel had an RBI-fielder's choice.
The Black and Gold continued to add runs in the sixth, adding one more. The inning featured a McManis RBI-single. Iowa added another two in the eighth, and one in ninth to make it 16-1.
The Spartans added one in the ninth, but were shut down but Schatz.
"I liked our approach the entire game and we were in the game in the dugout," Dahm said. "We kept our focus and had a businesslike approach."
Iowa and Michigan State will continue their four-game series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. (CDT) with a doubleheader at Oldsmobile Park.
GAME SUMMARY Iowa 280 201 021 -- 16 20 0 Michigan St 001 000 001 -- 2 8 0
WP - Alberts (4-3) LP - Cullen (4-2)