Hawkeyes fall to Indiana, 5-3

BY JACOB SHEYKO | APRIL 08, 2014 5:00 AM

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For seven innings, it looked as if the Iowa baseball team was going to avoid a series sweep from Indiana.

But as quickly as the Hawkeyes had made work of Indiana in the first seven innings of the game, the Hoosiers jumped on Iowa and opened up a close game.

“That’s the sad thing for me,” head coach Rick Heller said. “We go home today knowing that we were up 1-0 going into the eighth [inning], had opportunities to score more runs, but you have to make them earn it.”

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The Hawkeyes got seven innings of brilliant work from starting pitcher Tyler Peyton. The sophomore had all of his pitches working for him, striking out 4 and walking only 1.

In particular, Peyton’s off speed pitches were painting the corners and fooling the Hoosier hitters.

Time after time, Indiana hitters found themselves out in front of Peyton’s pitches, leading to a lot of weak ground balls and routine plays for the Hawkeyes.

“He was so good with all three of his pitches,” Heller said. “I knew it’d be a good matchup with the wind blowing, cause he’s got good sink on his fastball.”

Following a leadoff single for Indiana in the eighth inning, Tyler Radtke replaced Peyton. What ensued was something that has become common in Iowa’s previous matchups with Indiana.

Indiana posted 5 runs on 5 hits, giving it a 4-run lead.

Radtke was pulled after just one-third of an inning. The offensive Hoosier outburst was the third time this series that Indiana had posted 5 or more runs in a single inning.

“We just need to lock in for all nine innings,” Peyton said. “We’ve let those innings get away from us, and I think it’s just a lack of focus.”

Similar to the Hoosiers, the Iowa bats did not come alive until late in the game. In the first eight innings, Iowa collected only 3 hits. But in the ninth, the Hawkeyes gave themselves an opportunity to steal the game from Indiana.

Scoring 2 runs on 4 hits, Iowa had runners on first and second with junior Jake Mangler at the plate, but the Hawkeyes’ hopes of salvaging the final game of the series fell with a fly out to right field to end the game.

“I think we got a little out of our zone a little bit. We chased a few of their curve balls,” Jake Yacinich said. “We just didn’t get hits with runners in scoring position today.”

Iowa doesn’t get much of a break to recoup from this series sweep, either. The Hawks have a quick turnaround and play Kansas today and Wednesday.

And while a loss to Indiana, a team that made the College World Series last season, isn’t the end of the world for the Hawkeyes, being in the situation that they were in makes it a painful pill to swallow.

“We made our own bed today,” Heller said. “We didn’t play very well … I didn’t feel like [Indiana] earned it so much today; a lot of it was us just making mistakes.”

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