Hawkeyes Finish Off 3-Game Sweep
May 18, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Eight innings of two-hit ball by sophomore Taylor Kaufman and the will to withstand a ninth-inning Purdue rally propelled the University of Iowa baseball team to a 5-4 victory and series sweep over the Boilermakers on Saturday afternoon at Alexander Field.
"That was interesting, it got our heart rate going a little bit," said UI head coach Jack Dahm. "Why not? It has been that type of year with a lot of tough things occurring, but I want to give a lot of compliments to our seniors. Our younger players know and respect our seniors so much. It's a big compliment to them that we were able to win five of our last six."
It is Iowa's first three-game conference sweep since the 2010 season when the Hawkeyes won three-straight games over the Boilermakers in Iowa City. Iowa has also won back-to-back Big Ten series for the first time since the 2011 season when the squad downed Ohio State and Penn State on successive weekends.
Kaufman scattered a pair of hits and allowed one run over eight innings to improve to 3-3 this season. The left-handed pitcher had three strikeouts before departing after facing one batter in the ninth inning. Kaufman retired Purdue in order in 5-of-8 innings in just his second career start.
"Taylor was tremendous," said Dahm. "We probably could have left him in there, but I wanted to get Ricky (Sandquist) in there being a senior. Taylor was throwing three pitches for strikes and attacking the zone. Purdue wasn't getting any good swings against him other than their third baseman (McHugh)."
Iowa used the first eight innings to build a 5-0 lead. The Hawkeyes plated a single run in the top of the first when sophomore Jake Yacinich led off the frame with a single before scoring on an RBI single by classmate Anthony Torres.
The Hawkeyes then broke the game open in the fourth inning, scoring four runs on three hits and a pair of Purdue errors. Junior Bryan Niedbalski jumpstarted the inning with a double to left field before redshirt junior Keith Brand followed with a walk to put two runners on.
Junior Taylor Zeutenhorst's RBI single through the right side made the score 2-0, and senior Dan Sheppard's sacrifice fly to left field stretched the margin to 3-0. Zeutenhorst tallied Iowa's third run after scoring on a Purdue throwing error, and sophomore Nick Day's sacrifice fly to left plated freshman Nick Roscetti to stretch the lead to 5-0.
"We were moving guys, hitting sacrifice flies, doing everything we needed to score some runs," said Dahm of the fourth frame. "Then we took advantage of some of their mistakes and coach (Zach) Dillon did a good job of getting the guys going."
After silencing Purdue for the first eight innings, the Boilermaker bats came alive in the ninth. Stephen Talbott led off the inning with a double down the right field line to chase Kaufman from the contest. Sean McHugh followed with a walk against reliever Ricky Sandquist to put two runners on.
Following the first out of the inning, Kyle Johnson delivered a two-run double to left center to make the score 5-2, and Angelo Cianfrocco followed with a hit by a pitch to chase Sandquist. Freshman Josh Martsching entered and induced a fly out against the first batter he faced for the second out before Brandon Krieg and Steve Maniago had back-to-back RBI singles to make it a one-run ball game.
Martsching then buckled down and got Conner Hudnall to foul out to Torres behind the plate to earn his first save and end the game.
Yacinich had two of Iowa's six hits in the contest, while Torres, Zeutenhorst, Sheppard and Day all tallied RBIs. It was Yacinich's 13th multi-hit game this season.
Iowa closes out the season with a 22-27 overall and 10-14 Big Ten record, which put the Hawkeyes in eighth place in the conference standings.