LINCOLN, Neb. – The University of Iowa baseball team dropped a 9-4 decision to Nebraska Saturday at Hawks Field. The contest was the second of a weekend three-game series against the Huskers. Iowa won game one of the set, 4-3, last night.
Iowa, who scored all four of its runs with two outs, dropped to 13-15 overall and 4-4 in Big Ten play. Nebraska improved to 21-12 overall and is also 4-4 in conference action.
“We weren’t as clean today on the mound,” said head coach Jack Dahm. “We didn’t execute in certain situations and that was unfortunate. We created their innings for them and to their credit they took advantage. [Nebraska] came up with the big hits and that was the difference.”
Iowa was led by seniors Phil Keppler and Mike McQuillan. Keppler had two hits, including a home run, and two RBI. McQuillan had two walks, one hit, two runs scored and an RBI as the team’s table setter. Both Keppler and McQuillan will take four-game hitting streaks into tomorrow’s series finale.
The Hawkeyes scored first on a Keppler RBI single to right field scoring McQuillan, who led the game off with a walk. Nebraska answered with two in the bottom of the first on three hits off Hawkeye starter Matt Dermody.
Iowa tied the game the next inning on a McQuillan RBI single to right field plating Keith Brand, who walked earlier in the frame.
The Huskers tallied a single tally in the bottom of the second on an RBI groundout to take a 3-2 lead. Iowa answered again with a 450-foot solo blast by Keppler to right center to tie the game again in the third inning. The home run was the first of the year by Keppler and only the seventh big fly for a Hawkeye this season.
Nebraska plated three runs, all with two outs, in the bottom of the fifth to grab a 6-3 advantage and never look back. The first run came off Dermody, while Andrew Hanse yielded the other two runs out of the bullpen.
Taylor Kaufman and Tim Fangman allowed three more Huskers to cross home plate in the seventh via three walks (one intentional), one hit-by-pitch, one hit and a Hawkeye throwing error.
Dermody got the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits in four and two-thirds. Nebraska’s Brandon Pierce allowed three runs while scattering seven hits en route to his fourth victory of the season. Tyler Niederklein silenced the Hawkeye bats the last three innings to earn his first save.
Iowa and Nebraska will play the rubber game of the series tomorrow. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. at Hawks Field.
Iowa (13-15, 4-4) 111 000 100 — 4 7 2
Nebraska (21-12, 4-4) 210 030 30X — 9 10 0
WP – Pierce (4-1)
LP – Dermody (1-4)
SV – Niederklein (1)