WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The University of Iowa baseball team scored four runs in the first inning, three in the fourth, and was paced by senior Cole McDonald’s quality start en route to a 10-4 series-opening win over Purdue at Alexander Field on Friday night.
Iowa had nine hits and was able to take advantage of Purdue’s free bases. The Boilermakers committed five errors and walked nine batters.
In the first inning, Iowa scored four runs on two hits, a hit-by-pitch, and one error. Junior Ben Norman delivered the big blow on a bases-clearing double to the right center field gap. Senior designated hitter Luke Farley singled to center for his first of two hits, plating Norman to make the score 4-0.
Norman also had a sacrifice fly in the eighth to record his fourth RBI on the night, which tied a career high he set in Iowa’s second game of the season versus Pittsburgh.
Iowa scored three more runs in the fourth inning thanks to two Purdue errors and one hit. Senior Mitchell Boe hit a chopper to the Boilermaker first baseman, who fielded it cleanly, but threw high, with the bases loaded, allowing two runs to score.
The Hawkeyes extended their lead to 7-0 before Purdue scored its first run in the bottom of the sixth. It was the only run McDonald allowed on four hits and three walks.
The right-hander from New Hampton, Iowa, won despite not having his best stuff. In four of his six innings, he retired the first two batters of the inning, but struggled to close out frames. Still, McDonald surrendered just four hits and allowed one run to lower his ERA to a season-best 3.96, while picking up his third win and notching his fifth quality start.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
“I was happy with how our team came out. We played hard. We executed much better than we had been. It’s something that we’ve been working on and we went away from it. The big story tonight was that we were able to take advantage to the free bases that Purdue gave us. Unlike some nights where we weren’t able to get the big hit, we were able to take advantage of it tonight with some clutch hits.”
- Senior Luke Farley recorded his first multi-hit game of the season from the seven hole.
- Senior Cole McDonald owns a 2.49 ERA and a 2-0 record in four starts during Big Ten play.
- Catcher Austin Martin nabbed his seventh would-be base stealer in the first inning.
The three-game set concludes tomorrow with a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m. (CT) at Alexander Field.