Quinlan posts record-setting weekend at Iowa

by Sarah Mitchell

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Minnesota slugger Robb Quinlan pieced together a three-game run over the weekend that most college baseball players can only dream about. The senior set two career records and tied another, helping his team sweep a four-game series at Iowa.
For Quinlan, however, re-writing the Gophers record book has become routine.
“It’s a good feeling, but I have tried not to worry about that stuff,” Quinlan said. “I just try to play baseball.”
In game one of Saturday’s doubleheader, Quinlan’s third-inning double off Hawkeyes starting pitcher Steve Rasmussen pushed him past Brent Gates (61 in 1988-91) on the all-time list. Quinlan doubled three more times on Sunday to raise his standard to 65.
The Gophers first baseman also topped the career RBIs list on Saturday. Quinlan tallied nine RBIs over the four-game span, shattering Mark Merila’s (1991-94) record of 179. Quinlan now has 185.
“I think he represents the Big Ten well. He’s an outstanding gentleman,” Hawkeyes coach Scott Broghamer said. “We threw him everything we could think of and he hit them. He took us to town.”
The two-base hit which started Quinlan’s record setting pace also marked the beginning of an offensive tear. Quinlan had been slumping in the batter’s box, going 0-3 on Friday against Iowa ace Jim Magrane. But in the final three games of the series, the Hawkeyes pitching staff could not contain the right-hander.
Quinlan went 11-for-13 in the last three games, scoring eight runs and batting in nine. Seven of the Maplewood, Minn., native’s hits were for extra bases, including two lead-off home runs, which tied the senior with Tom Steinbach (1980-83) for Minnesota’s career home run title at 45.
“The whole year, it feels like I’ve had a few good games in a row and then I’d go into a little streak where I didn’t,” Quinlan said. “This weekend everything seemed to come together and I had a real good weekend.”
Quinlan already owns six single-season school records, and over the weekend brought his career record ownership to three. (Quinlan broke Minnesota’s career total hits record earlier this season.)
With more than half of the Big Ten season remaining, the 1998 second team All-American has plenty of time to steal the bragging rights from other former Gophers greats.
“You have to take your hat off to him,” Broghamer said. “He had a good weekend. We got him out and our kids clapped for him. So that tells you the respect we have for Robb.”