Indiana throttles Iowa, 14-3

BY JACOB SHEYKO | APRIL 07, 2014 5:00 AM

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It was evident that the Hawkeyes were in trouble in the opening at-bats of Iowa baseball’s 14-3 loss to Indiana.

Hawkeye starting pitcher Sasha Kuebel, typically good to at least eat up innings in each of his outings, pitched just one-third of an inning before being yanked by head coach Rick Heller.

“It was crazy —  everything they hit found a hole. You just don’t see that very often,” Heller said. “It was bad to fall behind like that to these guys. [Kuebel] didn’t walk the house, we didn’t throw the ball around, they just beat us.”

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Kuebel’s day consisted of merely 21 pitches. And because of Indiana’s bats, he was knocked around as bad as he’s been all season. The first four Indiana batters to step up to the plate reached on either a single or a double.

“We talked this whole week, you leave the ball up, they are going to hit you,” catcher Jimmy Frankos said. “That’s one of the best hitting teams in the country. We left it up a couple of times, and they made us pay.”

In relief for Kuebel was Brandon Shulista, but like Kuebel, Shulista struggled to keep the Indiana bats at bay. In just one inning of work, Shulista gave up 2 earned runs.

The Hawkeyes then turned to relief pitcher Matt Allen, who provided the first sign of consistency for the Hawkeyes.

“Matt Allen stepped up today, and he saved us,” Heller said. “What an unbelievable performance, giving us that many innings.”

Allen was able to give Heller 6.2 innings of work. He allowed 4 runs, 2 of which Heller took the blame for by leaving him in too long.

But most importantly for Iowa, Allen was able to take the mound inning after inning, an aspect that’s particularly important for an Iowa team that will have to exhaust all their pitching with three more games in the next three days.

“My two-seam was working real well,” Allen said. “I was jamming them in-and-out … my change-up was dropping; everything was working really well for me.”

The Hawks did give fans a sign of a rally in the third inning, when they posted 3 runs on Indiana starting pitcher Christian Morris, but they were shut down by his replacement, right-hander Luke Harrison.

Harrison filled in for the Hoosiers and provided 4.2 innings of scoreless baseball, striking out 7 Hawkeyes in the process. Only two Hawkeyes reached base during Harrison’s time on the mound.

“We’ve been running into our share of bad luck,” Heller said. “We’re not the type of team that hits the ball out of the ballpark. We have to string hits together, and make things happen, and do things on the base paths.

“And when you fall behind by 8 runs, it’s tough. You can’t really play our game.”

The Hawkeyes will face Indiana once more in their three game series against them on today. It will be the final time Iowa will face the Hoosiers for the remainder of the regular season.

“The big thing is we can’t go back and feel sorry for ourselves,” Heller said. “You have to wipe it away, and go back tomorrow, and give a great effort.”

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