Hawkeyes use big inning to beat Leathernecks

BY JOSH HICKS | MAY 06, 2015 5:00 AM

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The No. 15 Iowa baseball team faced Western Illinois Tuesday in the 100th meeting between the two teams. The game was long, lasting over three and a half hours with a whole lot of walks and 10 pitching changes between the teams.

The game started off slow, with a heavy focus on pitching and defense. The first and second innings saw almost no balls hit out of the infield by either team. WIU’s Preston Church walked three Iowa players in the top of the first, but the Hawkeyes couldn’t capitalize.

“It was a frustrating game on the offensive side,” Iowa head coach Rick Heller said. “They walked us 18 times, by my count, and gave us 25 free bases, and we only managed to score 7 runs.”

Kris Goodman recorded the first hit for the Hawkeyes in the bottom of the third. Despite having another player on base from a walk Iowa left two on base at the end of the inning again.

Freshman starting pitcher Nick Gallagher came up against his first bout of adversity in the top of the fourth, as he found himself with two Western runners on base and only one out. But second baseman Jake Mangler fielded two grounders and put out the runners at first to get the Hawkeyes out of the inning.

The sixth inning is where it all came together for Iowa. Shullista struck out the side in the top half of the inning.

“I just really wanted to just come in and throw strikes and pound the zone,” Shullista said. “I think having that quick inning really helped the bats to get going.”

In the bottom of the sixth, Iowa came up big with five runs.

Nick Day then hit a deep double to the right field corner to score junior Joel Booker and tie the game at 2-2.  The next two batters were struck out. Tyler Peyton, Kris Goodman, and Grant Klenovich all walked, walking home Day to make the score 3-2. With two outs and the bases loaded junior Nick Roscetti hit a deep single to left center that scored two runs, giving the Hawkeyes a 5-2 lead.

“I was looking for a fastball up, and I got it so I took a good swing and made contact,” Roscetti said.

Junior Jimmy Frankos came in to pinch hit and capped the inning off by giving Iowa one more run with a double to left center that scored Klenovich before Booker grounded out to end the inning.

Despite a 3-run home run in the seventh from Leatherneck Jake Moore, the Hawkeyes were able to hold on, adding another run in the eighth to get their 34th win of the season.

Iowa returns to action Friday against Minnesota, which marks the first of three remaining games at Banks Field.

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