GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – The University of Iowa pounded out a season-high 10 hits, and Hawkeye pitchers only allowed four hits, as they cruised to a 3-1 victory against Arkansas-Little Rock on Friday at QuikTrip Park.
After only allowing one run on three hits in five innings pitched, junior Tyler Peyton (1-0) registered his first win of the year. Peyton, an RHP, pitched around two base-on-balls that he issued in the first frame, to go on and dis-allow a hit until the third inning, finishing the game with five K’s and four walks.
Help was at hand however, as a total of three UI pitchers came in relief to aid Peyton – who was struggling with command at times – in the victory. Juniors Luke Vandermaten, Ryan Erickson, and Tyler Radtke showed up game and held UALR batters to just one hit over the course of four scoreless frames.
It was Radtke, who grabbed his second save of the year, that recorded the final two outs of the ball game.
The bats sang for the Hawkeyes as well as UI took its first at-bat and administered some small ball to score their first run off of two base hits in the first frame.
Leading off the game was senior Eric Toole, who placed a ball down the right side for a hit and then went on to score on a two-out RBI by senior DH Dan Potempa, who logged his first hit of the year in doing so.
Astonishingly, UI managed to have their leadoff man reach first base consecutively in the first five innings of the contest, but only salvaged the first-inning run inspite.
In the sixth inning, senior Kris Goodman strolled to the plate and proceeded to – with two outs – put a pitch in to the stands in left field for Iowa’s first home run of the young season and send the Hawkeye lead to 2-0. Goodman’s home run was his sixth career shot.
In the UALR half of the sixth inning, Ryan Scott doubled, and Tanner Rockwell drew a walk to bring out the hook for Peyton. Enter Vandermaten, who was welcomed by Trojan first baseman Justin Steelmon who ripped an RBI base hit up the middle on the fresh hurler, diminishing the lead to 2-1.
Vandermaten stood strong as an oak tree however, eventually settling down forcing the next two batters to fly out, and foul out to get out of the trouble. Erickson then did his job and trailed with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless, hitless relief, retiring UALR in order in both the seventh and eighth frames.
Goodman then went back to work at the plate again for the Hawkeyes, leading off the ninth with a well-placed double to left center. He crossed the plate thereafter when Peyton – who stayed in the game at first base even after being pulled from the mound – smoked an RBI single right up the middle to give UI some insurance.
UALR displayed a never surrender attitude however, when after making a quick first out to start the ninth, Erickson bean-balled Drew Merton to put a runner on first with one out. It only took Iowa’s Radtke two pitches, nevertheless, before forcing pinch hitter Jason Prevatt to ground in to a 1-6-3 double play to stop the threat and end the game.
Goodman and junior Nick Roscetti recorded five of Iowa’s 10 hits. Goodman ended 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, whereas Roscetti went 2-for-4 for his first multi-hit game of the year.
UALR starter Cory Malcom (0-1) took the loss, permitting runs on seven hits over six innings. The RHP had five strikeouts and zero walks in the contest.
Iowa (3-1) will be back in action Saturday, against Missouri State at 11 a.m. (CT) at QuikTrip Park.