IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa baseball team dropped both games of a doubleheader against 19th-ranked Indiana on Sunday at Duane Banks Field. The Hawkeyes fell 9-6 in the first game, before suffering a 6-4 setback in the second contest.
“The game of baseball is very hard for us right now,” said UI head coach Jack Dahm. “There are no moral victories, we gave them three games this weekend. The disappointing thing is that we had our opportunities, but made too many mistakes.”
Indiana (22-3, 6-0 Big Ten) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first game of the twin bill, plating two runs in the third inning and three in the fourth. Justin Cureton scored the Hoosiers first run, crossing home after an Iowa throwing error. Scott Donley drove in the second run with a single to left center. Indiana’s three and four hitters accounted for all three RBIs in the bottom of the fourth, as Kyle Schwarber hit a run-scoring fielder’s choice and Sam Travis lined a two-run double down the left field line.
Iowa (9-13, 1-5 Big Ten) broke into the run column in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring four runs on five hits and two Indiana errors. Sophomores Eric Toole and Kris Goodman opened the frame with back-to-back singles, setting up RBIs by sophomore Jake Yacinich and junior Trevor Kenyon. Yacinich plated Toole after forcing Indiana’s shortstop into a throwing error, while Kenyon doubled home Goodman. It was the first extra-base hit of Kenyon’s Hawkeye career. Kenyon would later score after senior Dan Sheppard grounded out for the second out of the inning. Junior Taylor Zeutenhorst concluded the scoring with an RBI single through the right side of the infield.
The Hoosiers responded with a run in the top of the sixth inning, as Cureton once again scored on an Iowa throwing error to make the score 6-4.
The Hawkeyes evened the score, 6-6, in their half of sixth inning. With two outs and runners on first and third, Kenyon hammered his second double of the game to right center to score both runners. Kenyon, who entered Sunday with one RBI, finished the opening game with a career-high three RBIs.
Iowa was never able to take a lead, as Indiana reliever Scott Effross held the Hawkeyes scoreless over the final three innings and the Hoosier offense tallied three runs during the eighth and ninth innings.
Indiana plated two runs in the top of the eighth courtesy of an RBI triple by Travis and an RBI single by Donley. The Hoosiers scored an insurance run in the ninth via a Chad Clark double.
Effross was credited with the win after allowing two earned runs over 4 2/3 innings out of the Indiana bullpen.
Senior Andrew Hanse made his first start of the season, taking a no-decision. Hanse tossed 3 2/3 innings, giving up five runs (four earned) and fanning three. Sophomore Sasha Kuebel was handed the loss in his first relief appearance. Kuebel, who fell to 1-5 this season, pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned).
Similar to first contest, Indiana claimed an early lead in the game two, running out to a 5-1 advantage over the first three innings.
Indiana put one on the board in the top of the first, courtesy of a Schwarber solo home run, followed by two runs in both the second and third innings. Will Nolden (double), Clark (single), Donley (single), and Basil (sacrifice fly) all registered an RBI over the two inning stretch.
The Hawkeyes scored a run in the bottom of the second inning, as Jake Mangler singled up the middle to plate junior Keith Brand. Iowa missed an opportunity to do more damage in the frame, stranding runners at second and third base.
Iowa cut the Indiana lead to 5-2 in the fourth inning, pushing across a run after freshman Nick Roscetti singled in Brand with two outs. The inning ended in controversy, as Indiana contested a tag at third and was granted the final out of the inning.
The Hoosiers tacked on a run in their half of the eighth, increasing their edge to 6-2. Basil singled through the left side, plating Schwarber.
The Hawkeyes made things interesting in bottom of the ninth against IU closer Ryan Halstead. With two outs, Halstead walked the bases loaded. Sophomore Jake Yacinich drew another walk to score Mangler, making the score 6-3. Kenyon followed Yacinich with an RBI single, his fourth hit of the doubleheader. Halstead settled down after that, striking out sophomore Taylor Kaufman to end the game. Kaufman reached base safely in both contests, extending his career-best reached base streak to 18 games.
6-foot-10-inch Aaron Slegers collected the victory, improving to 5-0. The righthander hurled seven innings, allowing six hits and two unearned runs. The win was Indiana’s 14th straight triumph.
Sophomore Nick Hibbing suffered the defeat, falling to 0-2. Hibbing allowed five earned runs on seven hits over four innings of work. Kaufman relieved Hibbing, throwing the final five innings. Kaufman allowed one earned run and tied a career-best with four strikeouts.
Iowa returns to Duane Banks Field on Tuesday for a mid-week match-up with Western Illinois. The Hawkeyes defeated WIU earlier this season, winning 7-3 on March 2 in Little Rock, Ark. The contest will be broadcast on BTN.com.