Iowa falls to South Dakota State


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Iowa showed no shortage of offense Tuesday night, but South Dakota State ended two runs better.

Despite equaling their opponent’s 16 hits, the Hawkeyes (8-13) fell to the Jackrabbits (11-6), 12-10, at Banks Field.

The Iowa bats were alive early. The Hawkeyes scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Juniors Kurtis Muller and Zach McCool grounded into two quick outs, but sophomore Mike McQuillan kept the inning alive, getting aboard with a well-hit single through the middle of the infield.

Senior Ryan Durant wasted little time in taking advantage of the strong wind blowing out to left field. The Eldridge, Iowa, native blasted a shot that carried over the outfield wall down the left-field line for his second home run of the season, putting the Hawkeyes up, 2-0.

The 6-1 right fielder went hitless the rest of the night despite continuing to hit the ball well.

Misfortune and solid defense didn’t allow Durant to see the bases again except for when he was hit by a pitch from Jackrabbit junior Alex Oberle in the fifth inning.

“The way I look at it, I had four quality at-bats,” Durant said. “Overall, I’m very pleased with tonight.”

Sophomore Phil Keppler didn’t start the game for Iowa at first base, but when he got the call, he delivered at the plate for the Hawkeyes. The 6-4 lefty pinch-hit for sophomore Sean Flanagan in the fifth inning and singled to drive in Durant from third base.

Keppler was on top of the ball the rest of the night, recording two hits and another RBI in two more at-bats. The second hit was nearly a home run that instead bounced off the left-field wall for a double, scoring sophomore Chett Zeise all the way from first base in the bottom of the seventh.

The Manchester, Iowa, native said he doesn’t think coming off the bench to hit is difficult. Instead, it’s a matter of mindset.

“If you’re in the dugout and you’re in the ball game, you’re locked in,” Keppler said. “If you’re in there, and you’re messing around, and you’re not paying attention, then yeah, it’s going to be tough to go in and play.”

Iowa grabbed an 8-7 lead after managing three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, but couldn’t string together enough offense to match the Jackrabbits for the rest of the night.

South Dakota State scored at least one run in all but the first and fifth innings.

True freshman Matt Dermody (0-2) earned a no-decision after throwing 31⁄3 innings in his second start of the season for the Hawkeyes. The 6-5 lefty struggled, allowing seven earned runs on seven hits, but he didn’t receive much help from his defense.

Iowa committed three errors on the night. Besides the errors, Iowa head coach Jack Dahm said other “mental breakdowns” cost the Hawkeyes as well.

“When you have a young pitcher on the mound, you have to make those plays out there,” Dahm said. “We didn’t help Matt at all, but from that standpoint, he didn’t help himself either.”

Dahm called the game a tough loss to a “very talented” team but noted it was also a game that taught his players to be more prepared from the first inning in today’s rematch.

“So we have our hands full [today],” Dahm said. “I think our guys realize we tried to warn them what type of team this is. So we’ll be ready to go [today].”

Iowa plays South Dakota State again today at 4 p.m.

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