WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Sophomore Anthony Torres hit a go-ahead RBI single through the left side of the infield in the top of the 11th inning, sending the University of Iowa baseball team to a 2-1 win over Purdue at Alexander Field.
“It was a great college baseball game that had pace to it,” said UI head coach Jack Dahm “We did some great things. Torres has been coming up big all year long, and I felt good about bunting in front of him because I thought he would get it done.”
Iowa (20-27, 8-14) improved to 5-1 in extra-inning games this year, and 3-1 in Big Ten games that stretched into extra-innings. The Hawkeyes have outscored opponents 9-1 after the ninth inning.
The 11-inning contest lasted two hours and 34 minutes, as starting pitchers Matt Dermody (Iowa) and Robert Ramer (Purdue) went toe-to-toe. Dermody tossed 9 2/3 innings, allowing one run on eight hits, while Ramer allowed two runs on eight hits in 10 2/3 innings.
“Those guys competed and made pitch after pitch,” Dahm said. “It was a great job by Matt to keep his concentration and focus, and keep doing his job. That’s a mature pitcher that went out and played the game pitch-to-pitch like we talk about.”
Dermody was relieved by sophomore Nick Hibbing, who picked up his second win of the season. Hibbing held Purdue scoreless over 1 1/3 innings, allowing one hit and striking out two. Hibbing had to earn the win against the Boilermakers, working out of a jam in the 11th inning to secure the win.
With runners on first and second and two outs in the 11th, Purdue first baseman Angelo Cianfrocco blasted an 0-2 pitch over the right field fence. The bomb was originally called a home run by umpire Scott Inman, giving the Boilermakers a walk-off victory.
Dahm protested the call, prompting a meeting between umpires. The umpires would overturn the call, ruling it a foul ball. Hibbing ended the threat two pitches later by striking out Cianfrocco swinging.
“The job that Nick did at the end after all the fireworks was great,” said Dahm. “That’s not very easy to get refocused, and he made a heck of a pitch to get the strikeout. It was a big time effort, and Nick likes those situations. He’s made plenty of big pitches for us in games like that.”
The Hawkeyes took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning, plating the run on two hits. Sophomore Eric Toole scored the run, crossing the plate after a wild pitch by Raber.
Purdue (17-32, 6-16) evened the score, 1-1, in the bottom of the seventh inning courtesy of a Kyle Wood RBI single.
Dermody, who made his final collegiate start, set a new career-high in innings pitched (9 2/3). The senior from Norwalk, Iowa, added six strikeouts, taking a no-decision. Dermody finishes his senior season with a 7-2 record and a 3.39 ERA.
“That’s as good as any kid could throw in his last outing,” said Dahm. “I’m so proud of the way he pitched. To be able to go 9 2/3 innings and do what he did was a great job by him.”
Dermody’s performance was aided by an Iowa defense that turned three double plays behind him, including two that ended innings. The Hawkeyes entered the game third in the Big Ten in double plays, turning 51 in 46 games.
“Don’t forget about the defense,” Dahm said. “The double play by Nick Day and Nick Roscetti in the sixth was a tremendous double play, and we had three of them. Our defense played really well.”
The Hawkeyes generated eight hits against the Boilermakers. Seven different individuals collected a hit, led by sophomore Taylor Kaufman’s two singles. It was Kaufman’s 11th multi-hit effort this season.
Iowa and Purdue return to Alexander Field tomorrow at 6 p.m. (CT) for the second game of a three-game set.