Iowa Hurler Stifles Hoosiers
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Despite an early lead, Indiana fell to Iowa, 7-3, in the opener of a four-game set on Friday at Sembower Field. Iowa starting pitcher Nathan Johnson went the distance, giving up just one hit over the final six innings, and finishing with a career-high 14 strikeouts.
"You have to give their pitcher (Nathan Johnson) credit," Indiana head coach Bob Morgan said. "From the fourth inning on, we didn't do much with our bats. We basically beat ourselves, today, with the walks and the wild pitches we gave up. Every walk hurt us. Johnson really took control of the game, especially after the third inning. We tried to get back into the game with our running, but as you saw, we just couldn't get it done. But as I said, give plenty of credit to their pitcher, because he pitched an outstanding game."
IU (19-13, 3-6 Big Ten) struck first, pushing across two runs in the bottom of the first. Designated hitter Jay Brant collected a one-out double to get things started, and Seth Bynum followed with a single, scoring Brant for the game's first run. Bynum went to second on the play as the Hawkeye third baseman mishandled a throw. Joe Kemp delivered the first of his four base hits, a single up the middle, and Bynum scored to make is, 2-0.
Senior Ryan Donley belted his third home run of the season in the second inning, a solo shot to left field to put Indiana up, 3-0.
That would be all the offense the Hoosiers could muster.
Iowa (9-20, 2-7 Big Ten) scored its first run in the third inning when second baseman Andy Lytle singled and came around to score on Kris Welker's double to left-center. In the fourth, rightfielder Nate Yoho scored the Hawkeyes' second run. Yoho singled to right, advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt, moved to third after tagging up on a fly ball and eventually came home on a Josh Lewis wild pitch.
The Hawkeyes gained a 5-3 lead in the fifth. Lewis walked L.J. Mims to lead off the frame and nine-hole hitter Jason White homered to right field.
Iowa pushed across two more runs in the seventh, on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly, and held on for the win.
Lewis suffered the loss on the hill for the Hoosiers, slipping to 3-4. The sophomore pitched 4.2 innings, scattered five hits and was responsible for five earned runs. He walked four and struck out four. Senior Adam Pegg came on the relieve Lewis with two outs in the fourth. Pegg gave up four Hawkeye hits, walked one and struck out three. He was responsible for two runs, but only one of them was earned.
Johnson gave up eight hits and walked two as he improved to 3-2 on the season. Only two of the Hoosiers' runs were earned.
Kemp was a bright spot for Indiana offensively, finishing 4-for-4 with one RBI. He was the only IU player to collect more than one hit.
The Hoosiers and Hawkeyes continue their series on Saturday with a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Sembower Field.
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