IOWA CITY, Iowa – – The University of Iowa baseball team beat Penn State, 4-2, Sunday afternoon in the series finale at Duane Banks Field. The Hawkeyes scored three first-inning runs and never looked back en route to snapping a three-game losing streak.
“It was important for us to set the tone and score runs early in this game,” said head coach Jack Dahm. “The three runs in the first helped and we were able to add on later. Sasha pitched another outstanding game. The kid is a competitor. He made some big pitches while our defense made some terrific plays behind him to help solidify the win.”
Iowa (16-19, 5-7) jumped on the scoreboard first plating three runs on two hits in the bottom of the first. Freshman Jake Yacinich hit a double down the right field line allowing senior Mike McQuillan to cross home plate for the first tally. Two batters later Yacinich scored on a senior Phil Keppler two-bagger to left. Keppler later scored the final run of the inning on a passed ball.
Penn State (18-21, 6-6) quickly answered with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Jordan Steranka, who was held hitless the previous two games, launched a solo home run to right field to cut the deficit to 3-1. Later in the inning JJ White notched an RBI single.
The Hawkeyes added an insurance run in the fifth to make the score 4-2. With Yacinich at third base, and two outs, freshman Eric Toole delivered a clutch RBI single to left field. Yacinich finished the contest with two hits.
Hawkeye starter Sasha Kuebel was terrific, earning his fourth win of the year to remain perfect (4-0). The rookie threw seven and a third solid innings, yielding just two runs, striking out two while scattering seven hits.
Freshman Taylor Kaufman and senior Nick Brown saw limited action out of the bullpen today. Brown pitched the final inning and a third to secure his sixth save of the season.
Penn State starter John Walter got the loss falling to 1-6 on the year after allowing four runs on five hits, four walks and a hit-by-pitch in five innings of work.
Iowa returns to action Tuesday night for a nonconference game at Bradley. First pitch is slated for 6:05 p.m. at O’Brien Field in Peoria, Ill.
Penn St (18-21, 6-6) 020 000 000 — 2 8 2
Iowa (16-19, 5-7) 300 010 00X — 4 5 0
WP – Kuebel (4-0)
LP – Walter (1-6)
SV – Brown (6)