Hawkeye baseball loses two of three to Michigan

BY TOMMY REINKING | MAY 06, 2013 5:00 AM

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Not very much separated the Iowa and Michigan baseball teams in a weekend Big Ten series.
All three of the games in Ann Arbor were decided by 1 run, but more often than not, the Wolverines came through in the clutch and took two out of the three games.

After five innings in the first game on May 3, Iowa trailed 5-1. The club began a comeback thanks to an RBI single by sophomore Anthony Torres in the top of the sixth that cut the lead to 3.

Sophomore Jake Yacinich brought the score to 5-4 with a two-run double in the seventh.

The Hawkeyes had runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth, but junior Trevor Kenyon struck out to end the game.

“We played better baseball,” Iowa baseball coach Jack Dahm said. “We played harder, and we had a lot of opportunities on offense. It was a tough loss.”

Iowa needed another comeback to edge the Wolverines in game two on May 4. Michigan again took the first lead with a run in the fourth and 2 in the sixth for a 3-0 advantage. Sophomore Kris Goodman stroked a two-run single in the seventh to make the score 3-2 Michigan, and Bryan Niedbalski hit an RBI single in the eighth to tie the game.

It was Niedbalski’s first hit and RBI of the season. The score remained knotted at 3 until the top of the 12th when Niedbalski came up with the bases loaded. The junior came through again with a sacrifice fly that gave the team the lead and eventually the 4-3 win.

“Bryan had a very good weekend,” Dahm said. “He hasn’t gotten very many opportunities to play this weekend, but he took advantage of his chances this weekend. It was good to see. He came through with some big hits.”

In game three, Iowa took the first lead of the game with 3 runs in the fifth. Sophomore Eric Toole got a bunt single to drive in the first run of the game. Goodman followed with a 2-run double.

Michigan struck back with 2 runs in the seventh to make the score 3-2, then took the lead on a 2-run home run off sophomore pitcher Nick Hibbing. The Black and Gold failed to muster a comeback in the ninth.

“The toughest part was that we had the opportunities early,” Dahm said. “We played very good defense, which is always important. It just came down to two pitches we didn’t execute on.”

Iowa remains in ninth place in the Big Ten standings with a 5-12 record. The team is four games out of sixth place (and a shot at the conference tournament) with six Big Ten games left.

After the series with Michigan, Iowa is 5-4 in 1-run games. There are very few games that separate Iowa from the rest of the Big Ten teams, and it may come even more down to the wire as the regular season comes to a close.

“We played good enough to win this series,” Dahm said. “But we didn’t.”

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