Kuebel, Hawkeyes Even Series Against No. 13 Purdue
May 18, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A four-run fourth inning propelled the University of Iowa baseball team to a 6-1 triumph over No. 13 Purdue. Tonight's game was played in front of a season-high 1,260 fans at Duane Banks Field.
The win marked Iowa's first over a ranked opponent since beating 25th-ranked Louisville, 2-1, on March 15, 2009. The victory marked Iowa's first over a foe ranked as high as No. 13 since a 6-3 win over seventh-ranked Vanderbilt on March 1, 2008.
Seniors Mike McQuillan and Chett Zeise, and sophomore Taylor Zeutenhorst led the Hawkeyes offensively tonight. McQuillan went 2-for-2, with two walks, a triple, and a run scored. The Evergreen Park, Ill., native's base hit in the bottom of the seventh moved him past Craig Conti (1983-86) for second place on Iowa's all-time hit list with 238 career hits. Additionally, his two hits marked his team-leading 17th multi-hit game of the year. Zeise had one hit, a three-run home run in the fourth inning. Zeutenhorst had two hits, including a double.
Freshman starter Sasha Kuebel was dealing again tonight, shutting down the fifth-best hitting team in the country. Kuebel threw a complete game gem, his second of the season. The St. Louis, native allowed only one run, while scattering eight hits, and striking out four Boilermakers, en route to his sixth victory. The one run marks only the fourth time this season that Purdue scored one run or less (1 vs. Maryland on Feb. 25; 0 vs. Michigan State on April 29; 1 at No. 14 UCLA on May 5). Kuebel finished his rookie campaign unbeaten in 13 appearances, boasting an unblemished 6-0 record.
"That has been Sasha all year long," said head coach Jack Dahm. "He threw extremely well and had tremendous composure. That was great to see. We played very well behind him as well; we made some good plays. We came up with some clutch hits as well."
After three scoreless innings, Iowa's offense exploded for four runs on three hits in the bottom of the fourth to take an early 4-0 advantage. Jake Yacinich delivered an RBI single to left scoring McQuillan, who tripled earlier in the inning, for the first tally. After a Phil Keppler walk, Zeise stepped to the plate and blasted a three-run home run to left field. The big fly was Zeise's team-leading fourth of the season. The four runs marked only the sixth time a Boilermaker opponent tallied four or more runs in an inning this year.
Purdue (41-11, 17-6) responded in the top of the fifth with an RBI single to make the score 4-1. Iowa answered with its fifth run in the bottom of the frame on a fielder's choice RBI by Jake Mangler. With one out and Taylor Zeutenhorst at third base, Mangler hit a chopper in the infield that Purdue's Lance Breedlove fielded and attempted to throw out Zeutenhorst at home, but the sophomore slid around the tag for the score.
Iowa (22-27, 9-14) added an insurance run in the eighth on a two-out RBI single down the left field line by freshman Eric Toole. The base hit allowed classmate Anthony Torres to cross home plate from third base.
Breedlove took the loss, allowing five Hawkeye runs in four and a third innings. The senior falls to 7-5 on the season.
Iowa's six runs tonight, coupled with its eight last night (14 runs), marks the second most the Boilermakers allowed to a Big Ten opponent in consecutive games (16 by Penn State the last weekend of March).
Iowa and Purdue conclude their three-game set Saturday at 1:05 p.m. at Duane Banks Field. Tomorrow's contest will be Iowa's final game of the season.