ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The University of Iowa baseball team split a doubleheader at Michigan on Saturday afternoon at Ray Fisher Stadium. The Hawkeyes won game one, 8-2, before falling 2-0 in the night cap.
Iowa is 13-10 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play.
“It was a much better effort today than what we have been giving,” said head coach Rick Heller. “It was cleaner baseball, intense, and the starting pitching was outstanding, going deep into the game against a good offense. If we play like that consistently, there will be good things coming our way.”
Game 1 | Iowa 8, Michigan 2
The Hawkeyes used a dynamic start from senior Dylan Nedved to claim the opening game, 8-2. The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits over seven innings, while fanning seven. Nedved allowed two hits in the third, one in the fifth and two in the eighth.
“Our first game couldn’t have gone any better,” said Heller. “Nedved gave us as good as a start as you could expect. Offensively we had a good day and were able to take advantage some freebies from Michigan. I was happy with how we were able to play and the energy we had.”
Iowa jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when sophomore Michael Seegers scored on a Michigan throwing error. The Hawkeyes put up a crooked number in the fourth, platting four runs on four hits to push their lead to 5-0.
Redshirt sophomore Ty Snep walked and sophomore Andy Nelson doubled to start the inning before scoring on consecutive singles from freshman Sam Petersen and redshirt sophomore Ben Tallman.
Following a sacrifice bunt, Seegers made it 4-0 with an RBI single to left field and Tallman made it 5-0, scoring on a wild pitch.
Iowa loaded the bases in the fifth and redshirt sophomore Kyle Huckstorf’s RBI single plated the sixth run before Seegers tallied his third RBI when he was plunked to force in the Hawkeyes’ seventh run.
Petersen notched his third hit with one-out in the seventh and scored on Seegers’ RBI single to right center – his fourth hit of the day. The Wisconsin native finished 4-for-4 with three RBIs in the game.
After allowing three hits over the first six innings, Nedved issued a pair of walks and a single to start the seventh. Iowa went to redshirt junior Jared Simpson and he got a fly out before Matt Frey’s two-run single made the score 8-2.
The Wolverines didn’t get anything else and redshirt sophomore Will Christophersen struck out the side in the ninth to finish out the Hawkeyes’ first Big Ten win of the season.
Iowa had 12 hits in the game with Seegers, Petersen (3-for-5, three runs) and Huckstorf (2-for-3, RBI) accounting for nine hits and five RBIs.
GAME 2 | Michigan 2, Iowa 0
The Hawkeyes out-hit the Wolverines, 6-3, in game two, but left eight base runners on as they were on the wrong end of a 2-0 decision.
Michigan starter Connor O’Halloran tossed seven shutout innings, scattering four hits and fanning eight and two additional Wolverine relievers combined for the shutout.
Iowa starter Adam Mazur (2-2) was strong but was the tough-luck loser. The right-hander allowed two runs on just three hits and fanned four.
“Mazur gave us an equally good start (as in game one), but we had a little bad luck where they got their run in the second,” said Heller. “A few things went against us. At that point you’re thinking you’re going to be able to get a few runs, but O’Halloran was really good today.
“We hit some balls hard early then he settled in and was tough through the middle innings. We had a few opportunities late, but we couldn’t get the hit when we needed to.”
The Wolverines scored their first run in the second on a Riley Bertram RBI groundout and the second run didn’t come until eighth on a solo home run from Brandon Lawrence that ended Mazur’s day.
Iowa had runners in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth innings – on doubles from Keaton Anthony and Petersen – but Michigan’s relievers pitched their way out of the jam to finish off the 2-0 victory.
Iowa and Michigan will play the rubber game of the three-game series on Sunday beginning at noon (CT).