Iowa senior pitcher Matt Dermody continues to throw well for the Hawkeyes in the early stages of the new baseball season.
Dermody, who is a former draftee into the Major Leagues, pitched seven strong innings and junior Keith Brand came through with a timely two-run single during Iowa’s 4-1 win over Nebraska-Omaha on Sunday afternoon at Eck Stadium on the campus of Wichita State.
"This was a great baseball game," said UI head coach Jack Dahm. "Matt Dermody threw a heck of a game. UNO kept making defensive play after defensive play against us, throwing two guys out at the plate. Matt kept his composure and did what he needed to do."
Dermody scattered only five hits over 7 1/3 innings, allowing one earned run and had a season-high eight strikeouts to one walk in pushing his record to 4-0 on the year. He retired the first nine UNO batters her faced in order before giving up a single in the fourth.
"He had a good feel today," said Dahm. "He was locating his fast ball and was throwing extremely hard and locating, and he could throw his slider in there. He had a good mix and could throw anything he wanted to at any time."
Iowa broke a scoreless tie with a three-run seventh inning. Anthony Torres opened the inning with a one-out single before advancing to third on a single by Nick Day. Torres scored the first run on an RBI safety squeeze bunt by sophomore Eric Toole.
Jake Yacinich later reached base on an infield single with two outs. That loaded the bases for Brand, who delivered a two-run single through the right side to extend the Hawkeyes’ lead to 3-0.
Nebraska-Omaha scored its lone run in the top of the eighth inning off Dermody. He loaded the bases before leaving the game and Taylor Kaufman induced a pair of groundball outs but the Mavericks still plated a run.
"We could have kept Matt in the game, but we decided we wanted to give them a different look with Taylor," said Dahm. "He did a great job limiting them to one run in that winning."
Iowa got its fourth run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Blake Hickman opened the inning with a walk before junior Taylor Zeutenhorst singled to put runners on first and third. Hickman eventually scored on a double play groundball from Torres.
Kaufman earned his first save of the season, allowing one hit in 1 2/3 innings.
Brand paced the Hawkeyes at the plate with a career-high three hits and two RBIs. Day also tallied a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Yacinich went 1-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to six games.
"I was really happy with our approach offensively," said Dahm. "Every time we hit a ball hard they were making a diving play in the infield, and we were snake bit, but finally we came up with that big hit by Keith."
Iowa (8-7) will go for the series win Monday when it faces UNO in the finale beginning at 10 a.m.
"This has worked out pretty good where it is just like a conference weekend," said Dahm. "It's all tied right now. The team that wants it more and that comes out with more energy is going to come away with the win for the weekend."
UNO 9, Iowa 6
The Mavericks won the first game of the series on Saturday thanks to scoring all nine of their runs in the first four innings. UNO (3-8) broke the game open with three runs in the third inning and five in the fourth to take control and eventually ended Iowa’s three-game win streak.
Iowa clawed back into the game with a pair of runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Kaufman’s RBI fielder’s choice plated the first run as he brought home Toole. Zeutenhorst followed with a single through the right side, scoring Goodman to make it 9-4.
Iowa added two more runs in the fifth inning, but it ultimately couldn’t come through at the plate in clutch situation.
Sasha Kuebel (1-4) took the loss, allowing eight runs (six earned) over 3.1 innings. Iowa’s bullpen of Josh Martsching, Andrew Hedrick, Ricky Sandquist and Andrew Hanse were solid, giving up one run on seven hits in 5.2 innings.
Yacinich had half of Iowa’s six hits, tying a career-high by going 3-for-5 with an RBI. Toole scored two of Iowa’s six runs in his first game back since March 3.
Reliever Kyler Brady (1-0) picked up the victory for UNO, allowing four runs on four hits in two innings. Anthony Falcone and Josh Bullock pitched the final four innings, holding the Hawkeyes hitless.