“We hurt ourselves because we didn’t do a good job on the mound or from a defensive standpoint,” said UI head coach Jack Dahm.
Indiana (20-3, 4-0 Big Ten) came out swinging, as the first five Hoosier batters recorded a hit. Justin Cureton and Kyle Schwarber hit back-to-back singles to open frame, setting up a Sam Travis three-run home run that cleared the scoreboard in left center field. Scott Donley followed Travis with a double to left field, and would score a batter later via a Michael Basil single.
Iowa (9-11, 1-4 Big Ten) needed just two batters to score a run in their half of the first and close the Indiana lead to 4-1. Sophomore Eric Toole drew a walk to open the inning, which was followed with a triple by sophomore Kris Goodman. It was Goodman’s first three-bagger of the season, and his 10th RBI.
The Hawkeyes tied the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the second inning, scoring three runs on one hit. Juniors Keith Brand (hit-by-pitch) and Taylor Zeutenhorst (walk) got on base to begin the inning and would both score courtesy of Indiana errors. Brand crossed home on a throwing error, while Zeutenhorst scored on a passed ball. Toole registered the inning’s only hit, a single, to drive in the third run of the frame, plating sophomore Jake Mangler.
Iowa took its first lead in its next trip to the plate, taking a 5-4 advantage. Sophomore Taylor Kaufman tripled to right center with no outs to score junior Trevor Kenyon. The effort chased Indiana starter Joey DeNato. DeNato, who entered the contest with a 2.51 ERA, surrendered five runs in two-plus innings. Kaufman’s triple stretched his hitting streak to five games, a new career-high, and extended his career-best reached base streak to 16 games.
“We did a good job of coming back in that ballgame,” Dahm said. “We took advantage of their mistakes to take the lead”
The Hoosier bullpen shut down the Hawkeye offense for the rest of the contest, as four relievers combined to pitch seven scoreless innings. Luke Harrison was credited with the win, throwing 3 2/3 innings where he allowed zero runs and stuck out four.
The Hawkeyes had scoring opportunities in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, stranding a runner at third base in each frame. Iowa left 10 runners on base over the course of the game.
Indiana knotted the score, 5-5, in the top half of the fourth inning, using a Travis fielder’s choice to plate a run.
The Hoosiers regained the lead with a three-run, four-hit sixth inning that made the score 8-5. The offensive output included a two-run double by Schwarber and a RBI single by Travis — his fifth RBI of the game.
The offense continued for Indiana in the top of the seventh inning, as they busted the game open with a six-run outburst featuring back-to-back home runs, the first of which was a grand slam by Donley.
Indiana, which won its 13th straight game, added a pair of runs in the eighth inning courtesy of a two-run single by Tim O’Conner.
Senior Matt Dermody suffered the loss on the mound, his first defeat of the season. The left-hander tossed five innings, allowing seven earned runs. The Norwalk, Iowa, native entered the contest with a Big Ten-best five wins.
Iowa and Indiana play the second game of a three-game series tomorrow at Duane Banks Field, beginning at 1:05 p.m. (CT). Monday’s series finale is slated for a 3 p.m. start.