Hawkeyes fall to Rutgers

BY RYAN RODRIGUEZ | MAY 15, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa baseball team dropped the first game of its final series.

The Iowa baseball team dropped its series opener at Rutgers on Thursday, 5-3, in Piscataway, New Jersey. The loss drops the Hawkeyes to 37-13 overall, a game and a half behind first-place Illinois.

With an outright Big Ten regular-season title all but out of reach as a result, the Hawkeyes will try to get things rolling in the right direction today.

The loss came after starter Tyler Peyton lost control of one of the best pitches in his arsenal, his fastball. That, plus the offense’s struggle against a hot Knights pitcher, cost them the game. 

“Their lefty did a nice job,” head coach Rick Heller said. “He worked out of some jams and had a good day. Unfortunately for us, Tyler Peyton had a rough start and wasn’t able to locate his fastball all day long, and it cost him today.”

Peyton was chased after just 3.2 innings, having allowed 5 earned runs on 5 hits as well as 2 walks and a pair of hit batters.

Heller pulled Peyton for junior Ryan Erickson, who threw 4.1 innings of shutout ball to stabilize the Hawkeyes and give them a chance to make a comeback. 

“Ryan came in, and slowed things down, and gave us a chance to come back, but it just wasn’t to be today,” Heller said. “We weren’t able to get anything mounted late, and it was a tough loss.”

The Iowa offense chipped away at Rutgers’ lead in the fourth and fifth inning, getting back 3 runs.

The Hawkeyes drilled back-to-back-to-back singles to load the bases in the fourth and managed a run courtesy of an RBI groundout from Joel Booker.

They added 2 more one inning later with a 2-RBI single from Nick Roscetti to draw within 2 runs, but the rally did not get any further.

Scarlet Knight pitcher Howe Brey tossed a complete game, scattering 9 hits over nine innings.  The Hawkeyes failed to string together consecutive base runners until the ninth inning.

The Hawkeyes will return to action today at Rutgers. First pitch is scheduled for noon.

Follow @ryanarod on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa baseball team.

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