By James Allan
DALLAS – No. 31 Dallas Baptist secured a series win, taking game two, 7-3, over the University of Iowa baseball team Saturday afternoon at Horner Ballpark.
The Patriots jumped on the Hawkeyes early, as the first three batters reached against Iowa starter Nick Gallagher via two singles and a base on ball. Dallas Baptist first baseman Darick Hall followed by sending a 3-1 pitch into the jet stream for a grand slam to centerfield, giving the Patriots a 4-0 lead.
"The game didn’t start the way we wanted, about as bad as it could, and it could have been ugly," said UI head coach Rick Heller. "Our guys bounced back and played a good game for the next eight innings and gave ourselves a chance."
After Dallas Baptist tacked on its fifth run in the second, the Hawkeyes started to chip away, scoring one run in the third on a Corbin Woods solo home run — the first of his career — to left field before pushing two across in the fourth on three hits and a DBU error.
Senior Tyler Peyton reached on an error and freshman Robert Neustrom singled to start off the inning before Iowa got back-to-back RBI singles from Daniel Aaron Moriel and Eric Schenck-Joblinske to cut the deficit to 5-3. Iowa left two stranded in the inning.
The Patriots, who won Friday’s season opener 5-1, broke through against Iowa reliever C.J. Eldred in the bottom of the sixth inning. Eldred entered in the second and retired the first 13 batters before David Martinelli reached on a dropped third strike. After a hit by pitch put two runners on with one out, Dallas Baptist got back-to-back hits — an RBI single from Garrett Wolforth and an RBI double from Camden Duzenack — to push its lead to 7-3.
"C.J. stabilized things against a potent offense," said Heller. "The rest of the game was pretty even. I like the way we bounced back defensively and played a clean game. I saw much better defense, confidence, and our at-bats were better. We cut our strikeouts down to three, and some new guys did a good job."
Gallagher (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) in 1 1/3 innings. Eldred allowed two runs over four innings with three strikeouts to zero walks, and freshman Zach Daniels and junior Jared Mandel got the final eight outs.
Dallas Baptist starter Dalton Higgins (1-0) was credited with the victory, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits over five innings. Freshman Jordan Martinson earned the save, allowing one run over the final four innings.
Iowa had six hits in the game, including a two-hit game from senior Nick Roscetti.
Sunday’s series finale begins at 1 p.m. (CT).