Hawkeyes crush Grand View in home opener, 20-1

BY BEN SCHUFF | MARCH 22, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa baseball team took full advantage of Grand View's miscues in the early innings on Wednesday. Then the Hawkeyes buried the Vikings.

Iowa (7-10) had one of its best offensive days in recent memory as it beat Grand View (10-17), 20-1, at Banks Field. The Hawkeyes (7-10) sent 19 players to the plate over the course of the night and collected 15 hits. The 20 runs scored is a season-high, marking the first time Iowa scored 20 runs or more since 2009.

"I'm not saying anything negative about [Grand View] — it's a good team, solid club — but we came and played like we're supposed to play today," senior Sean Flanagan said. "This was a team we were supposed to beat. We showed what we can do at home, and it was a great day."

Iowa first baseman Mike McQuillian scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning on an error by Grand View pitcher Sean Roberts. Hawkeye designated hitter Ryan Rumpf hit a scorching line drive up the middle that was caught by Roberts, who threw to third base in an attempt for a double play. But Roberts' throw sailed wide and down the third-base line, sending McQuillian across home plate.

The team's second run came in a similar fashion the next inning, when a throwing error by Viking catcher Daniel Callewaert allowed Phil Keppler to score.

But more importantly, the error gave Iowa an extra out to play with. Eight Hawkeyes scored in the second frame, blowing the game wide open.

"That's what you have to do: You have to capitalize on the other team's mistakes," McQuillian said. "We won the free bases game, had a lot of walks today, and took advantage of their errors. That's what we have to do against Big Ten teams."

The Hawkeye offense continued to roll throughout the evening, and scored in six of the eight innings Iowa came to the plate.

Flanagan stole the show and padded the Black and Gold's lead after the game was out of reach, as the senior hit home runs in the fourth and fifth frames. His first was a 3-run shot to left-center field, and the second was a 2-run connection that flew over the left-field fence.

Taylor Zeutenhorst increased the damage in the sixth inning with a pinch-hit solo home run. It was the first of the sophomore's career.

"A lot of times, we've been playing down to our competition's level when we should just keep going," said Flanagan, who ended the game 2-for-2 with 5 RBIs. "Today, we showed what happens when we play to our level, and we'll just keep tacking on every inning."

Iowa received a solid effort from starting pitcher Andrew Hedrick, who earned his first career win. The freshman went 5 innings and allowed 1 run on 7 hits while striking out 5 Viking batters.

Hedrick pitched his way out of jams in the first and second innings to keep Grand View off the scoreboard. The left-hander left runners on second and third to end those threats.

He praised the offense for giving him support early and often, and said the offensive outburst "definitely helped cool my nerves a little bit."

Iowa manager Jack Dahm stressed the significance of his club's first home game after the win. Dahm said the Hawkeyes' play on Wednesday helped erase memories of a rough start to the season.

"What we told our guys before the game today is, 'We have a fresh start,' " he said. "We're 0-0 now, we're playing at home, we have no more excuses about being on the road. Let's get ourselves refocused and play some good, solid baseball."

Follow DI baseball reporter Ben Schuff on Twitter.

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