WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- The University of Iowa baseball team closed out the regular season with a doubleheader split Saturday afternoon at Purdue. The Hawkeyes dropped game one, 6-4, before erupting for 17 runs in a 17-5 victory in the second game to clinch the series victory.
“It was a tough, disappointing loss in game one, but the guys really bounced back in game two,” said UI head coach Rick Heller. “We took advantage of some free bases and had two-out hits. I was happy the guys bounced back and found a way to win the last game of the regular season.”
Iowa finishes the regular season with a 29-21 overall and 10-14 Big Ten record to finish eighth in the regular season standings. The Hawkeyes will face top-seeded Indiana in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday in Omaha at TD Ameritrade Park.
After dropping the first game of the doubleheader, the Hawkeyes took it to the Boilermakers from the onset in game two, pushing seven runs across the plate in the first inning and scoring in 7-of-9 innings in the game. Iowa plated 17 runs on a season-high 21 hits -- its the third 17-run game this season.
The Hawkeyes did all of their damage in the first with two outs, scoring seven runs on four hits. Iowa sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning. Senior Taylor Zeutenhorst drove in the first run with an RBI single to right field before junior Kris Goodman was plunked with the bases loaded to make the score 2-0.
Senior Bryan Niedbalski, junior Jake Riffice and junior Eric Toole followed with bases loaded walks to push the lead to 5-0 before junior Jake Mangler laced a two-run single up the middle to stretch the Iowa advantage to 7-0. Purdue starter Connor Podkul (0-5) didn’t get out of the first, giving up seven runs on three hits in 2/3 of an inning.
After sophomore Tyler Peyton retired the Boilermakers on six pitches in the bottom of the first, Iowa’s offense went back to work, stretching the lead to 10-0 by the third. Iowa loaded the bases with no outs in the second before Goodman drew a walk to push in the eighth run before the ninth run scored on a double play ball. In the third, junior Dan Potempa laced an RBI double down the left field line, plating Yacinich who reached on a two-out single.
Purdue put three runs on the board in the bottom of the third before the two teams traded two-run frames in the fifth. Iowa then stretched its lead to 14-2 with two in the sixth. Mangler ripped an RBI triple down the right field line and Potempa had an RBI single in the fifth and Yacinich had an RBI single in the sixth.
Iowa scored its 16th run courtesy of a Niedbalski RBI single in the seventh before senior Trevor Kenyon and Frankos had RBI singles in the eighth.
Ten different Hawkeyes contributed to the team’s 21-hit outburst and six Iowa players had multi-hit games. Yacinich had his fourth four-hit game of the season, finishing 4-for-6 with three runs and an RBI. Mangler (3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs), Zeutenhorst (3-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI) and Frankos (3-for-6, 1 R, 1 RBI) had three-hit games, while Potempa (2-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBIs) and Goodman (2-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBIs) had two-hit games.
Mangler extended his reached base streak to 29 games, while Toole and Yacinich recorded their team-best 22nd multi-hit contests.
Peyton improved to 5-0, allowing five runs (four earned) on 11 hits over five innings. Junior Andrew Hedrick pitched the final four innings, scattering pair of hits, to earn his first career save.
In the opening game, the Hawkeyes battled back from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game in the fifth inning only to see the Boilermakers score three of the final four runs to take the first game.
Purdue got off to a quick start, plating three runs on four hits in the bottom of the first inning against Iowa starter Sasha Kuebel. After back-to-back one-out singles and a hit by pitch loaded the bases, Kyle Johnson delivered an RBI single to left field before Kyle Upp followed with a two-run double to left center to stretch the lead to 3-0.
The Hawkeyes closed the gap to within 3-2 in the top of the third, plating a pair of runs on two hits and one Boilermaker error. Iowa loaded the bases to start the frame when Frankos reached on an error, Nick Roscetti was hit by a pitch and Toole laid down a bunt single.
Mangler followed with a two-run single down the left field line, but Purdue pitcher Gavin Downs got out of the inning by getting a double play and ground out to end the threat.
Iowa tied the game at three in the fifth when Toole singled to lead off the inning before Peyton had a one-out infield single and Yacinich was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Potempa knotted the contest at three with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Sophomore Calvin Mathews entered in relief in the sixth -- his first appearance since April 25 -- and retired the side in order before the Boilermakers took advantage of a pair of Mathews walks to regain the lead in the seventh. Brandon Krieg scored the go-ahead run on an Iowa error before Kyle Wood drove home the fifth run with an RBI double down the right field line.
Purdue stretched its lead to 6-2 with a single run in the bottom of the eighth before Iowa plated one in the top of the ninth. Frankos scored on an RBI groundout off the bat of Toole, but nothing else was doing in the inning as Matt Gibbs got Mangler to fly out to right field to end the game.
Mathews (3-3) suffered the loss, allowing two unearned runs in 1 2/3 innings in relief. Kuebel allowed three runs on six hits over five innings before Tyler Radtke and Matt Allen got the final four Purdue outs. Radtke gave up his first run since April 15.
Toole and Mangler accounted for four of Iowa’s nine hits in the game. Toole was 2-for-5 with one run and one RBI, while Mangler was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.
Downs (3-6) picked up the win, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits over seven innings. Matt Gibbs gave up one run on a single hit over the final two frames en route to his first save.