Iowa baseball drops midweek game to Nebraska-Omaha

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

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In what has been a recent trend for Iowa baseball team, the Hawkeyes fell 1 run short for the third time in the last four games.

The culprit in Tuesday’s game was Nebraska-Omaha, which downed the Hawkeyes, 6-5, at Banks Field.

“We started out slow,” Iowa baseball coach Jack Dahm said. “Offensively, we really didn’t do much of anything the first time through the order. A lot of that has to do with focus and being ready to go.”

Iowa got a disappointing performance from freshman starting pitch Josh Martsching. In his second start of his career, the Bloomfield, Iowa, native surrendered 5 hits and 4 earned runs in just 2.1 innings. He walked three batters and struck out none.

Dahm pointed to a lack of effective pitches being the reason Martsching struggled on the mound.

“It looked like Josh has hit the wall as a freshman,” Dahm said. “He didn’t have much finish on his pitches. He got hit around a little bit. His slider wasn’t really moving like it can. He looked a little fatigued out there.”

After the Mavericks tacked on run in the top of the fourth to make the score 6-0, the Hawkeyes broke through for their first rally of the game. The squad scored 4 runs on 4 hits, including RBI singles from sophomore Anthony Torres and senior Dan Sheppard.

What allowed the Hawkeyes to finally break through, sophomore Taylor Kaufman said, was seeing the Mavericks’ starting pitcher for the second time through the order.

“Having an at-bat under their belt made it easier,” he said. “The first time around can sometimes be difficult when you’re seeing a pitcher’s stuff for the first time. The second time around should be a lot easier. The second time around we got some good swings on the ball.”

After that point, though, offense was hard to come by for both teams. Nebraska-Omaha recorded a hit in every inning from the fifth through the seventh but couldn’t plate a run. Iowa only recorded a triple from Nick Roscetti in the sixth. After that, eight-straight Hawkeyes were retired.

After the Iowa bullpen held the Maverick offense at bay — the trio of Ben Bergman, Nick Hibbing, and Kaufman allowed only 1 run from the fourth inning to the end of the game — the Black and Gold offense struck again in the eighth inning. Kaufman hit a one-out double and was then quickly driven in by junior Bryan Niedbalski to make the score 6-5.

“We put some good at-bats together and got some momentum going,” Niedbalski said. “We’re just not quitting. When we put quality at-bats together, it gives us a chance to win.”

In the bottom of the ninth, sophomore Eric Toole hit a two-out double to put the tying run on second. Unfortunately for the Hawkeyes, Nick Roscetti couldn’t come through in the clutch — he struck out looking to end the game and Iowa’s hopes to complete the comeback.

“We waited too long,” Kaufman said. “We needed to jump on them a little earlier, but we did do a good job of getting ourselves back in the game.”

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