BLOOMINGTON, Indiana – The University of Iowa baseball team (19-12) dropped game two of the series, 12-6, against Indiana (20-9) on Saturday afternoon at Bart Kaufman Field.
Offensively, Iowa recorded 11 hits, but seven Hawkeye pitchers allowed a season-high 14 hits, including six for extra-bases, in the loss.
The play of the game happened in the bottom of the first.
On a ball hit to the right center field gap by Indiana’s Paul Toetz, Iowa right fielder Zeb Adreon hustled over to make a diving grab and doubled off the runner on second base, but the umpires ruled the catch as a trap. The decision was upheld after all three umpired discussed the play, putting Hoosiers on second and third with no outs.
Indiana’s Grant Richardson singled through the right side following the controversial call to give Indiana a quick 2-0 lead. Iowa’s starting pitcher Drew Irvine (2-4), who did not record an out, allowed two Hoosiers to reach via a walk and a single to load the bases. Irvine plunked the following batter, allowing another run to score to force Coach Heller to go to the bullpen.
The Hoosiers ended the first inning with a 5-0 advantage, but Iowa responded.
All nine Hawkeyes stepped to the plate in the top of the second and Iowa capitalized on four McCade Brown walks to push across three runs, making it a 5-3 game. Indiana matched Iowa with three runs of its own to re-up the lead to 8-3.
Again, Iowa didn’t go away. With two outs in the top of the third, redshirt freshman Brendan Sher delivered a two-RBI double down the left field corner to make it a three-run game.
The Sher double bounced Brown from the game, making it the shortest outing of the season for Brown, who entered the game leading the Big Ten in batting average against (.144). Iowa’s six hits and six runs were the most surrendered by the right-hander in eight starts this season.
“I was really proud of how we fought back,” head coach Rick Heller said. “We made it a game. We knocked one of the top pitchers in the league out early. Our guys battled and fought. They didn’t give up.”
In his second inning of relief, freshman pitcher Ty Langenberg, tossed a 1-2-3 inning with three groundouts in the bottom of the third to slow down Indiana’s offense.
Iowa scored for the third straight inning in the top of the fourth on a Dylan Nedved sacrifice fly to cut Indiana’s lead to 8-6. That’s, however, all the Iowa offense could muster against Indiana’s bullpen arms.
The Hawkeyes were limited to only five hits – none for extra bases – in the final five innings.
Freshman Tyson James and redshirt sophomore Jack Guzek were each tagged for two runs each in the fifth and six innings. Freshman reliever Will Semb pitched the final two and 2/3 innings for Iowa, allowing no hits and no runs, while punching out two.
QUOTING HEAD COACH RICK HELLER
On tomorrow’s rubber match:
“Starting pitching is a huge part of this game. Hopefully Cam (Baumann) will go out and give us a quality start tomorrow like he’s been doing all season. We have Duncan Davitt to back him up. Duncan’s been pitching great, too. Hopefully we’ll get a quality start out of those two guys and we’re going to face one of the better Sunday starters in the league. We’re going to have our hands full and going to have to be disciplined and locked in offensively like we’ve been the past two days.”
For the fourth time in last five games and the 13th time this season Iowa recorded at least 10 hits.
Redshirt senior Matthew Sosa was 3-for-4 with two runs scored to register his first three-hit game since March 28.
Redshirt junior Izaya Fullard recorded his fourth multi-hit game in the last five contests with a 2-for-3 effort.
Redshirt senior Brett McCleary, who started at catcher, recorded his second straight multi-hit game, going 2-for-5.
Redshirt freshman Peyton Williams did not play for the second straight day. He’s day-to-day.
The series finale is set for Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes are looking for their sixth straight series win.