Hawkeye baseball gets just enough in 10-9 win

BY RYAN MURPHY | MAY 02, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa baseball team finally had the scoring outburst it had been looking for, and the Hawkeyes needed every run on Tuesday night at Banks Field.

The Hawkeyes knocked off the Milwaukee Panthers, 10-9, on a game-winning fielder's choice by freshman shortstop Jake Yacinich.

Iowa's 10 runs on 12 hits marked the first time the Hawkeyes have scored 10 times in a game in nearly a month; the last double-digit scoring output came on April 4 against South Dakota State.

The Black and Gold scored 4 runs in both the second and seventh innings and added a run in both the sixth and ninth to top the Panthers.

Iowa manager Jack Dahm said his team's pitching was disappointing, but he was pleased with the way his Hawkeyes swung their bats.

"Our guys battled, and it was a good win for us," he said. "We didn't pitch as well as we wanted to, but we did some good things, especially from an offensive standpoint."

Left fielder Phil Keppler, who drove in Iowa's fourth run of the second inning on his only hit of the night, said the Hawkeyes came to the plate with good mindsets — and it showed.

"It was a very offensive night, obviously," he said. "We did a good job staying with our approaches, and we were able to put up some runs."

The game marked the Hawkeyes' third walk-off win this season at Banks Field and the second that came courtesy of Yacinich's bat. The Des Moines native also drove in a winning run against Northwestern on March 23.

Dahm said the freshman, who is tied for the team lead with 21 RBIs, thrives in the biggest spots of the game.

"Jake Yacinich keeps coming up with big hit after big hit," Dahm said. "That's a freshman who embraces the pressure situations and was aggressive, and it was a great at-bat on his part."

Yacinich said he and his teammates were able to plate 10 runs by being patient at the plate.

"We talk a lot about being aggressive but being disciplined," he said. "We had really good approaches this [past] weekend at Minnesota, even though we didn't get the wins we wanted, and I think we did that again tonight,"

While Yacinich ended the game with his bat, another freshman recorded his first career win. Nick Hibbing pitched the Hawkeyes' final two innings and earned the win despite giving up a run.

The Lindenhurst, Ill., native said he came in in a difficult position but credited his defense for backing him up in his first Hawkeye triumph.

"I came into a tough situation, but our defense was real solid, and it makes it easy to go out and have defense like that," Hibbing said.

Hibbing said the Hawkeyes — who have won two in a row after losing six of their seven previous games — think they have pulled out of their slump entering this weekend's series with Michigan.

"We had some rough patches early on, but I think we've definitely got it together now, and we just need to keep the wheels rolling," he said.

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