Hawkeye baseball goes 3-4 in weeklong tournament

BY DI STAFF | MARCH 19, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa baseball team dropped to 6-10 after a 3-4 campaign at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational in Winter Haven, Fla., over spring break.

Iowa ace Jarred Hippen was the victim of poor run support and defense in the tournament-opening game against Georgetown on March 10. The senior went 7 1/3 innings and struck out 5, but 4 Iowa errors tagged him with three unearned runs in a 6-1 loss.

The Hawkeye bats woke up against Illinois State the next day, but the pitching fell apart in the middle innings; the Redbirds scored all 10 of their runs between the fourth and seventh frames as Iowa lost, 10-6.

Iowa trailed Eastern Illinois, 1-0, going into the ninth inning on March 12 but scored twice in the top of the inning to reward freshman hurler Sasha Kuebel with his first career win. Kuebel went 8 innings and struck out 7.

Jack Dahm's team didn't wait as long to start scoring against Bucknell on March 13. Iowa scored 6 runs in the fourth on the way to a 8-6 win.

Freshman Nick Hibbing took the hill against Long Island for his first career start on March 14 and had a no-hitter for four innings. The Blackbirds smacked 5 hits for 3 runs in the fifth frame, though, and Iowa's late rally attempt fell short in a 5-3 loss.

Hippen had another strong outing on March 15 against Jacksonville State, when he threw 7 scoreless frames before running into trouble in the eighth. He gave up 3 runs — 2 of them earned — but the Hawkeyes bounced back with 4 of their own in the bottom of the inning for a 6-3 win.

Iowa struck in the first against Army on March 16, but the Black Knights tied the game in the next frame. A pair of sixth-inning Hawkeye errors allowed Army to plate 4 and roll to a 5-1 win.

The Hawkeyes will host Grand View in their home-opener at Banks Field on Wednesday afternoon. Iowa's Big Ten slate will begin this weekend at home against Northwestern.

— by Seth Roberts

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