It was the second game of a doubleheader for Iowa, both of which were played in cold weather. The Hawkeyes defeated Western Illinois, 7-3, earlier in the day with game time temperatures at 32 degrees, while it was 38 degrees when Iowa and Arkansas-Little Rock began play.
“It was a difficult day for us,” said UI head coach Jack Dahm. “It was cold, and the first game got over so quick that we had to sit around for a couple hours. It’s tough to stay focused that long and we didn’t play clean baseball all day. Some of that had to do with the weather conditions, but we weren’t very focused in the second ball game.”
John Clark opened the scoring for the Trojans in the fifth inning, singling in Ben Crumpton with one out. Blake Johnson scored two batters later via a Myles Parma double to left center. After Iowa elected to intentionally walk Chris Burk to load the bases, Kaleb Jobe earned a walk that would score Clark. David Guarno singled in UALR’s next at-bat, driving home a pair of runs. Jobe would later score the Trojans final run of the frame, crossing the plate after an Iowa fielding error.
The Hawkeyes (4-5) were within striking distance prior to the fifth inning, as they trailed the Trojans 2-0. Both runs were plated in the first inning, as Austin Pfeiffer hit an RBI single and Burk drew a bases-loaded walk.
All three of Iowa’s run were scored in the top of the seventh inning, making the score 8-3. The Hawkeyes opened the frame with back-to-back-to-back hits, as sophomore Taylor Kaufman, senior Dan Sheppard, and sophomore Jake Mangler all recorded singles. Mangler’s base knock scored Iowa’s first run, plating Kaufman. Sheppard and Mangler would both later score off Arkansas-Little Rock mistakes. Sheppard crossed home after a wild pitch, while Mangler scored after a fielding error.
Arkansas-Little Rock added a run in its half of the seventh, pushing its lead to 9-3. The run was scored after Crumpton hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Guarno.
Blake Huffman collected the win for the Trojans, allowing three runs and striking out five in seven innings. Relievers Cameron Allen and Matt Brown each pitched a scoreless innings.
Freshman Calvin Mathews was saddled with the loss for the Hawkeyes. Mathews pitched one-third inning before handing the ball to Kaufman. Kaufman threw four innings, allowing six earned runs. He was relieved by sophomore Ryan Rumpf. Rumpf tossed 1.2 innings in his first appearance this season, allowing two hits and zero runs. Sophomore Andrew Hedrick finished the contest on the mound, throwing the final two innings.
“Taylor came in and threw the ball tremendously,” Dahm said. “I don’t know if he got tired or what exactly happened, but he was very good.”
Kaufman went 2-for-4 at the plate, recording his third multi-hit performance in the last five games.
Iowa closes its four-game weekend in Little Rock, Ark., tomorrow against Wichita State. First pitch between the Hawkeyes and Shockers is scheduled for 10 a.m. (CT) at Gary Hogan Field.