Iowa baseball team thrashed by Kansas

BY MATT COZZI | APRIL 13, 2011 7:20 AM

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Following the Iowa baseball team’s loss Tuesday night, the coaches addressed the team on the right field line a little longer than usual.

Make that a lot longer than usual.

For the coaches, they had good reason to prolong the postgame meeting. The Hawkeyes didn’t score a run until the eighth inning in losing to Kansas, 12-5, at Banks Field.

Defensive miscues and lack of timely hitting early on in the game were prominent causes for the defeat, and the Hawkeyes (12-18) have now dropped two in a row.

“That was the worst effort that I’ve seen from us in a long time,” Dahm said outside of the Iowa dugout following the game. “It was unacceptable. You have an opportunity to come out and play a Big 12 opponent in Kansas, and we didn’t show up to play.”

Iowa starter Jeff Pacha retired the Jayhawks in order in the first and third innings, but got knocked around in the second and fourth frames.

The senior faced the entire Kansas lineup in the fourth — the visiting squad sent nine men to the plate. After giving up a leadoff home run to start the inning, the left-hander gave up three more runs, including a bases-loaded walk.

Although Pacha exited the game with the Hawkeyes down 6-0, the team’s defense didn’t limit the damage for the relief pitchers. Pair that with the lack of a clutch hit or simply advancing a base runner, and Iowa wound up in a 12-0 hole.

“When we have guys on second and third and nobody out, all we need is a ground ball to second base [twice], and the game is a lot closer,” Dahm said. “[Pacha] did fine throwing the ball, he gave us a chance. We didn’t help him out at all.”

Shortstop Kurt Lee acknowledged that the Hawkeyes didn’t play solid defense but said the approach was poor from the first pitch.

Although a nonconference game, Tuesday’s contest requires the same mentality and approach as if it were a Big Ten matchup, Lee added.

“It just wasn’t a great midweek approach,” Lee said. “Of course we want to win, but we need to give ourselves a chance to come out, compete, get guys at-bats, and play a solid ball game. We didn’t do that tonight.”

Iowa left seven men on base and recorded four errors in the field. Kansas starting pitcher Thomas Taylor made relatively quick work of the Hawkeyes throughout the game; he never faced more than five batters in an inning.

Junior second baseman Mike McQuillan said the team missed out an opportunity to gain some momentum following undesirable results last weekend against Illinois. The Hawkeyes dropped two of three against the Illini in Champaign.

“We didn’t have that hop in our step today,” McQuillan said. “Sometimes after a tough weekend like we had it’s tough to bounce back, but that’s what we need to do. We need to have a good game midweek to make that turnaround for the weekend.”

For the Hawkeyes, fixing a lack of a good approach to the game and failure to drive runners home from scoring position will be emphasized at practice the next two days.

“We need to come out, whether it be a midweek or weekend series, and play every game like you expect to win and that you’re going to win,” Lee said. “We need to come out to every single game and play our game. Otherwise, we won’t win.”

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