Indiana Falls at Iowa
IOWA CITY, Iowa -Playing its sixth road game in eight days, the Indiana baseball squad fell to Iowa, 6-0, on Friday evening at Duane Banks Field in the opener of the four-game series. The Hoosiers are now 18-13 (2-7 Big Ten) on the season, and the Hawkeyes improve to 12-15 (6-3 Big Ten).
Hawkeye starter Luke O'Loughlin (1-2, 1-1 Big Ten) was in control the entire ballgame, tossing eight shutout innings and allowing five hits while striking out five. Kevin Sunderman pitched a scoreless ninth to complete the shutout.
Shortstop Andy Lylte blooped a single in front of senior right fielder Joe Kemp, pushing across left fielder Nathan Price for a 1-0 Iowa lead after one inning.
In the second, the Hawks added to their advantage when center fielder Jesse Brownell came around on a base knock by second baseman Jason White. Third baseman Andy Cox made it 3-0, scoring on a safety squeeze by Price, before designated hitter Sklyer Moss laced a base hit to plate White with the Hawkeyes' fourth tally.
Hoosier starter Josh Lewis (5-2, 1-2 Big Ten) settled down after the second, stifling Iowa in the third and fourth, while the offense attempted to rally in the fifth. Sophomore third baseman Michael Nilles ripped a one-out single to left, and Josh Richardson followed with an infield single, with Nilles advancing to third as Lytle's throw scooted away from first baseman Dusty Napoleon.
However, O'Loughlin escaped the jam unblemished, getting senior catcher Kurt Weigle to ground into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
In the bottom half of the frame, the Hawkeyes struck again as Napoleon roped a two-bagger to left field to knock in right fielder Nate Yoho, extending the margin to 5-0. Iowa picked up one more tally in the sixth for the final run of the contest.
IU loaded the bases with two down in the eighth and ninth innings but came up empty both times. O'Loughlin retired junior first baseman Ryan Parker on a towering fly ball to the left field warning track in the eighth, and Sunderman forced junior center fielder Reggie Watson to fly out to left to close out the game.
Sophomore Matt Saba entered for Lewis in the sixth inning and threw the final three innings. The right-hander gave up one run on three hits with a pair of Ks and no walks.
The teams return to the diamond with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 16. Game one's first pitch is slated for 2 p.m. The four-game series then concludes on Sunday, April 17, with a 1 p.m. starting time. The series finale will be Sunday at 1 p.m.
Check back soon