Iowa baseball struggles against Jayhawks in 8-3 loss


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The Iowa baseball team fell to Kansas, 8-3, Tuesday night at Banks Field.

Mother Nature did not take it easy on Iowa, and neither did the Jayhawks. Kansas tallied 8 runs on 12 hits, easily outmatching the Black and Gold’s 3-run, 10-hit performance.

Iowa hurt itself throughout the game by squandering scoring opportunities and stranding 9 runners.

“I was very disappointed,” Iowa baseball coach Jack Dahm said. “They weren’t ready to go … It’s a situation where we knew exactly what Kansas was going to do, and we didn’t execute our bunt defense.”

The Black and Gold dropped to 12-15 overall with the loss. The Jayhawks improved to 19-12 by showcasing an explosive offense. That ability to score runs in bunches is why Kansas was able to defeat a handful of ranked teams this season — most notably, No. 11 Oklahoma and more recently No. 19 Oklahoma State.

Two errors by catcher Blake Hickman allowed Kansas to push 3 runs across the plate in the first inning, putting the Hawkeyes in an early hole.

Kansas also took advantage of a miscommunication by Iowa’s youthful infield and hit several ground balls between third baseman Nick Roscetti and shortstop Jake Yacinich. The lack of communication between Roscetti and pitcher Calvin Mathews helped move Kansas baserunners.

“We probably gave them 6 or 7 runs today,” Dahm said. “Bottom line is, with our guys, when you communicate, you’ve got to be loud, and when you’re loud, you’re confident. Unfortunately, we were too timid.”

Freshman Mathews pitched the first six innings and allowed 7 of the Jayhawks’ 8 runs on 9 hits. Reliever Josh Martsching provided a steady relief effort by retiring eight-straight batters, but he left the game in the ninth inning because the cold weather caused his forearm to tighten up.

Kansas was able to push one more run across in the ninth.

Iowa, down 4-0 in the third, had an opportunity to tie with a bases loaded situation, but a double play allowed only Kris Goodman to score a run. Goodman reached base four out of five times night with three singles and an RBI.

It was a performance that Dahm said Goodman deserved, but the sophomore doesn’t see it that way.

“It’s all right, but at the end of the day, it’s disappointing to lose,” he said. “I’d take going 0-for-3 and us winning.”

The Hawkeyes cut the deficit to 4 runs with a single run in both the fifth and sixth innings. Iowa was unable to close in on the lead and didn’t get on base in any of its final three innings.

Martsching was not the last of the injured Hawkeyes. Jake Mangler never took the field after suffering a sprained ankle in the April 7 game against Nebraska. Yacinich was also pulled in the fourth inning because of a strained back.

Yacinich, the most experienced of the infielders, said the problem lies in the defense.

“I think we needed to execute on defense,” he said. “If we execute the innings and make a couple more ball plays, we’re right back in that ball game.”

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