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Iowa baseball drops two of three to Cornhuskers

BY TOMMY REINKING | APRIL 08, 2013 5:00 AM

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In a back-and-forth series that saw seemingly comfortable leads evaporate game after game, Nebraska came away with two victories over the Iowa baseball team in three games at Banks Field this past weekend.

Both teams swung the bats extremely well throughout the contests, collecting 81 hits and plating 48 runs. The pitching and defense struggled on both sides, however. The two squads had 11 errors in the series.

“We didn’t play very well this weekend,” Iowa head coach Jack Dahm said. “We just didn’t play free and easy. I was really happy offensively with how we started swinging the bats in every game. We found ways to manufacture runs and get some key hits with two outs.”

The Hawkeyes set the tone early on offense in the first game of the series on April 5, a 12-5 loss. After allowing 4 Nebraska runs in the first inning, the offense couldn’t find a way to bring runners to the plate. Aside from scoring 2 runs in the third inning, the Black and Gold left ten runners on base in the first four frames.

As Nebraska slowly pulled away with runs in the fourth, fifth, seventh, and ninth, Iowa failed to deliver big hits when needed and could only record five hits in the final five innings.

The Hawkeyes found their stroke in the second game of the series on April 6 after again falling behind in the top of the third inning, 5-1. Iowa put together their biggest inning of the season in the bottom of the frame when they sent 11 batters to the plate and brought 5 runs home.

But once again, the Cornhuskers kept the offense rolling with 7 runs the rest of the way compared to Iowa’s 2 down the stretch. Iowa left 13 runners stranded in the loss.

“The first two games we came out, and the pitchers weren’t all there,” Hawkeye first baseman/catcher Trevor Kenyon said. “We need to be more consistent. That’s a big part. We need to get our confidence up a little more.”

Iowa finally put it all together in the third game of the series, a 6-5 victory that featured its fair share of craziness. Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the third, Iowa sent seven men to the plate and scored 2 runs but didn’t record a single hit. Three Cornhusker errors, two walks, and a hit batter allowed Iowa to tie the game.

Nebraska reclaimed the lead with a run in the top of the fourth, but the Iowa offense came through with 2 runs in the fifth and sixth to take a 3-run lead. A bit of nervousness set in during the top of the ninth when Nebraska loaded the bases with no outs.

A sacrifice fly and a dropped routine fly ball by right fielder Kris Goodman cut the lead to 1. With runners on the corners and one out, relief pitcher Ricky Sandquist got the final Nebraska batter to roll into a double play and save the win for the Hawks.

“We hit the ball really well this weekend,” senior starting pitcher Andrew Hanse said. “Our pitching wasn’t the strongest, but we were able to get this victory and put everything together today.”


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