ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The University of Iowa baseball team recorded a season-opening 7-5 victory over Pittsburgh Friday afternoon. The game was played at Al Lang Field and was the first of three Big Ten/Big East Challenge contests to start the season for the Hawkeyes.
“I was very happy with the way we played in some very tough weather conditions,” said head coach Jack Dahm. “It was raining and misting the entire day. It was tough pitching conditions. I thought Jarred Hippen and Tim Fangman did an outstanding job.
“Offensively, we played extremely well. Our seniors did an outstanding job today. All the guys were swinging extremely well. We also made some outstanding defensive plays. It was a very well-played game and a great way for us to start.”
With the game tied, 5-5, in the bottom of the seventh, Hawkeye senior Sean Flanagan delivered the game-winning hit. The designated hitter clubbed his second double of the game, allowing Phil Keppler and Dan Sheppard to cross home plate for the winning runs.
Pittsburgh (0-1) scored the first run of the contest in the top of the first on a pair of doubles off Hawkeye starter Jarred Hippen. The Hawkeye starter finished with a no-decision after throwing 5 and two thirds; allowing five runs, while striking out two.
Iowa (1-0) claimed the lead in the second by batting around, scoring five runs on five hits and a hit-by-pitch. Andrew Ewing, Andrew Host and Eric Toole had RBI singles, while Chett Zeise had a two-RBI double to left center.
Three innings later, the Panthers evened the contest in the top of the fifth with four runs on five straight singles.
Tim Fangman relieved Hippen in the sixth inning, retiring 10-of-12 batters he faced. The senior struck out two and yielded only one infield single in notching his first victory of the year.
Four Hawkeyes had multiple hit games today, led by Keppler’s three hits, which equaled a personal best for the senior. Flanagan, Ewing and Zeise all registered two hits.
Iowa returns to action tomorrow morning when it plays Notre Dame. First pitch is scheduled for 9:05 a.m. (CT) at Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Fla.
Pittsburgh (0-1) 100 040 000 5 11 0
IOWA (1-0) 050 000 20X 7 13 1
WP – Fangman (1-0)
LP – Iannazzo (0-1)