Iowa baseball wins series but drops final meeting vs. Michigan St.

BY JALYN SOUCHEK | MAY 13, 2013 5:00 AM

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What began as a successful start to the weekend quickly turned sour. The Hawkeyes were unable to sweep Michigan State, falling short in the Sunday matchup, 4-2.

Iowa took the May 10 game by a 6-2 score, thanks to a big seventh inning from the Hawkeye bats. The Black and Gold squeaked out a 2-1 victory on May 11, securing its first series victory of the season.

The outcome of Sunday’s game was caused by three Hawkeye errors, giving the Spartans 2 unearned runs. Iowa accumulated 7 hits and 2 runs against the Green and White’s 6 hits and 4 runs.

“I was hoping that we’d find a way to sweep and get a win [Sunday] for the seniors’ last day here,” Iowa baseball coach Jack Dahm said. “I thought the pitchers did throw the ball very well, but we were just not able to get the bats going.”

Michigan State jumped out to an early lead on the Hawkeyes, pushing 2 earned runs across the plate in the third inning. An error by leftfielder Dan Sheppard gave the Spartans another run in the frame.

The Black and Gold then responded by taking advantage of Spartan mistakes. A hit-by-pitch put leadoff hitter Nick Roscetti on base. A pickoff error by Michigan State’s Nick VanVossen advanced Roscetti to third, then a fielder’s choice sent him home. That run made the score 3-1, Spartans.

Starting pitcher Andrew Hanse took a hit to the elbow by a line drive off the bat of Kevin Goergen in the fourth inning. Hanse didn’t return following the hit, allowing freshman pitcher Josh Martsching a chance on the mound.

Dahm said he was hoping to get five or six innings from Hanse, but Martsching was successful in relief.

“The biggest positive of today was what Josh Martsching did,” he said. “Josh came in and threw very well.”

A costly error by shortstop Jake Yacinich gave Michigan State another run in the fifth, extending its lead 4-1. Yacinich looked confident reaching for the fly ball but was not able to keep control.

“We came not with a whole lot of energy right away,” infielder Nick Day said. “Coach got on us a little bit about it. We did a better job there in the middle innings, but we came out flat [Sunday].”

Iowa had an opportunity to even the score in the eighth inning. A RBI single from designated hitter Keith Brand brought in Yacinich, making the score 4-2. Catcher Dan Sheppard then stranded two runners by a grounding out.

The Hawkeyes came up empty in the ninth inning, getting only a single from Eric Toole.

Brand put himself in the Iowa record books in the sixth inning, where he was beaned for the 21st time this season. That broke the previous record of 20 held by Kevin Hoef from the 2008 season.

The weekend brings Iowa’s record to 19-27 overall and 7-14 in the Big Ten.

“[Sunday’s] main focus was on the seniors,” pitcher Sasha Kuebel said. “We’re glad to have them, and we’re proud of everything they’ve done for us. It was good to be out here with them. It feels great. Anytime you can win a series against a team like Michigan State, it feels good. It’s even better that it was on our last weekend here with the seniors.”

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