Hawkeyes take series opener



Iowa scored four times in the bottom of the first inning en route to a 6-2 victory over South Dakota State in the opening game of a two-game non-conference baseball series April 3 at Duane Banks Field.

The Hawkeyes improved to 11-14 overall, while SDSU dropped to 6-14-1 on the season.

Iowa used some small ball to post its first run of the game. Mike McQuillan led off the game for the Hawkeyes with a base hit, moved to second on a wild pitch and took third on a bunt single by Jacob Yacinich. McQuillan and Yacinich then executed a double steal to perfection with McQuillan scoring on a steal of home. Yacinich later scored on a base hit by Phill Keppler and Andrew Host delivered a two-run double to cap the four-run outburst.

Jackrabbit starter Kolton Emery settled in after the first inning, throwing four consecutive scoreless innings before exiting after the fifth. Emery surrendered nine hits, walked one and did not strike out a batter in his longest outing of the season.

After Hawkeye starter Andrew Hedrick blanked SDSU through the first five innings, the deficit was cut in half with a two-run sixth. Phil Paquette singled and later moved to second on a groundout. Andrew Phelan extended the inning with an opposite-field double that moved Paquette to third. Zach Briggs walked against reliever Ryan Rumpf to load the bases, setting up Aaron Machbitz for a two-run single.

SDSU threatened again in the seventh as Eric Cain tripled with two outs. However, reliever Nick Hibbing retired Paquette to end the inning.

Iowa put the game away with a two-run home half of the seventh on run-scoring singles by Chett Zeise and pinch-hitter Jake Mangler. Zeise, McQuillan and Host each tallied two of the Hawkeyes’ 11 hits in the game.

Cain was 2-for-4 as the Jackrabbits managed only five hits in the contest.