IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa baseball team defeated South Dakota State Wednesday evening at Duane Banks Field, 11-4. The game was the second of two in the mid-week series. The Hawkeyes have won three of their last four contests after taking both games from the Jackrabbits. Iowa (12-14, 3-3) defeated South Dakota State Tuesday, 6-2.
“We played good baseball today,” said head coach Jack Dahm. “Offensively, we kept tacking on runs. That was really good to see. It was good to see some guys with multiple hits. We had another clean defensive day, no errors again. It is good to see our defense coming around.”
The Iowa offense, led by seniors Mike McQuillan, Chett Zeise and Phil Keppler, junior Dan Sheppard and freshman Jake Yacinich, tallied 12 hits and scored in six of its eight at-bats. McQuillan recorded his ninth multi-hit game of the year, going 2-for-2 with three runs scored and an RBI. Zeise also registered his ninth multi-hit game. He finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Keppler went a perfect 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, giving him his fifth multi-hit game and second three-hit contest of the year. Sheppard tallied his third multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Yacinich recorded a personal-high four RBI while going 2-for-2. The rookie has seven multiple hit games.
For the sixth straight contest, Iowa struck first. The Hawkeyes pushed across a single tally in the bottom of the first to take an early 1-0 advantage. With McQuillan on second base, Zeise singled to center and got caught in a run-down, allowing McQuillan to score.
Iowa extended its lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the third, scoring two runs on three hits. McQuillan opened the frame with a leadoff single. With McQuillan on second and one away, Zeise doubled down the left field line to give Iowa a two-run advantage. Zeise later scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Bryan Niedbalski.
The Jackrabbits (6-15-1) grabbed the lead in the top of the fourth, scoring four runs on three hits, including a two-run home run, to take a 4-3 lead.
Iowa answered with a single tally in the bottom half of the fourth to even up the score at 4-4.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Hawkeyes opened it up with four runs to regain an 8-4 lead. With two away, four-straight UI batters drew a free pass to walk in a run and give Iowa a one-run advantage. Yacinich pinch hit and recorded his first career triple to clear the bases and put the home team up four runs.
The Hawkeyes added a single tally in the bottom of the seventh to make the score, 9-4. McQuillan notched his fourth double of the season down the right field line to score Sheppard, who reached earlier in the frame on a single.
In the eighth, Iowa tacked on two more runs to make the final score 11-4. Keppler tripled to right center and was singled home by Yacinich. Yacinich later scored on a single to third base by Kris Goodman.
Ricky Sandquist made his first start of the season and took a no-decision. The junior allowed four runs in five innings. He struck out two Jackrabbits. Ben Bergman, Patrick Lala, Tim Fangman, Andrew Hanse and Nick Brown saw action out of the Iowa bullpen. Lala earned his first win of the year. He pitched two-thirds of an inning.
“I was proud of Ricky Sandquist,” said Dahm. “I thought he made some pretty good pitches. I was real happy with the pitching staff. We are starting to play more consistent baseball. It is good momentum for us heading to Nebraska.”
Blake Fiedelman took the loss for South Dakota State. He pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowing four runs.
Iowa travels to Nebraska for the first ever Big Ten match-up between the two schools this weekend. The two will play a three-game set in Lincoln, Neb., beginning Friday at 6:35 p.m. The Huskers and Hawkeyes will also play at 2:05 p.m. on Saturday and at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday.
SDSU (6-15-1) 000 400 000 -- 4 6 4
IOWA (12-14, 3-3) 102 104 12X -- 11 13 0
WP – Lala (1-3)
LP – Fiedelman (0-2)