Early offense had been a problem for Iowa of late, and Saturday's first inning against Nebraska looked headed toward continuing that trend, as Husker starter Chance Sinclair got Eric Toole to ground out and then struck out Jake Mangler looking. But Kris Goodman reached on an error by Nebraska shortstop Jake Placzek, and the proverbial floodgates opened. Dan Potempa singled to right, moving Goodman to third. John Barrett then walked, loading the bases, still with two out. Shortstop Nick Roscetti cashed in for Iowa, driving a two-run single through the middle to put the Hawks on the board first. Jimmy Frankos followed with another RBI base knock, and Iowa led early 3-0.
Blake Hickman looked solid pitching with the lead, continuing his enjoyable habit of totally shutting opponents down from the jump. The Hawkeye righty held the Bugeaters hitless until there were two outs in the fifth. Hickman did surrender a two-run homer to Husker DH Ben Miller in the sixth, and was chased after a walk and an error followed. But Ryan Erickson got out of the jam, and Hickman left with a 3-2 lead.
Iowa answered with some small-ball in the bottom of the seventh, as Taylor Kaufman hit a leadoff single, was moved to third with a Joel Booker sac bunt, followed by a productive Toole groundout. With two outs, Hawkeye second baseman Jake Mangler legged out an infield single to socre Kaufman and extend Iowa's lead to 4-2.
Erickson continued to cruise in relief of Hickman, but got the hook after a leadoff walk, followed by a single to start the ninth. Luke Vandermaten, he of the 0.39 ERA relieved Erickson. Nebraska second baseman Jake Schleppenbac welcomed Vandermaten with a blooper to left-center, but was robbed of a hit by Toole. Miller followed his earlier two-run blast by launching a deep drive to right, but was also robbed of an extra-base hit by Booker (see photo above). After an RBI single cut the lead to 4-3, Vandermaten induced a harmless grounder to short for a game-ending fielder's choice. HAWKS WIN!
"Catch" yesterday's highlights (check out the 9th inning defense). Hawks host a twinbill today at Noon. http://t.co/ua9pNZFuN1— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) April 26, 2015
Games Two and Three Matchup and Info
Day/Time and Location: Due to weather wiping out Friday night's action, games two and three will be played as a doubleheader TODAY, April 26, at Noon CT, Duane Banks Field in da IC
Media: Gametracker and possibly streaming audio (see here)
Weather: Clear with a high of 59F. Bueno.
Usual gamethread rules apply. No politics, porn, religion, or incivility; just baseball, son. GO HAWKS!!!