IOWA CITY, Iowa — Michigan State scored three runs on two Hawkeye errors to hand the University of Iowa baseball team a 4-2 defeat on Senior Day on Sunday at Duane Banks Field.
“We gave them three out of their four runs by not making plays and throwing the ball around,” said UI head coach Jack Dahm. “The errors definitely hurt us, and we weren’t quite there from an offensive standpoint either. We were a little sluggish and didn’t have it in us. It was disappointing to let the last game of the series go.”
The contest was the third and final game of three-game set. Iowa won the first two games, securing its first series win over the Spartans since 2002.
The game served as Senior Day, and Iowa’s six-player senior class — Ben Bergman, Keith Brand, Matt Dermody, Andrew Hanse, Ricky Sandquist, and Dan Sheppard — were recognized before the game. Every senior except Dermody saw action. Dermody started on the mound Friday, collecting a win.
Michigan State (29-16, 10-8) took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning, using three hits and an Iowa error. After loading the bases two outs, Blaise Salter hit a two-run single to left field. The third run of the frame crossed the plate on the play after a throwing error.
The Hawkeyes (19-27, 7-14) answered with one run in their half of the third, making the score 3-1. Freshman Nick Roscetti was plunked by Michigan State starter Mick VanVossen to begin the inning, and advanced to third base after a failed pick-off attempt by VanVossen. Roscetti later scored on a ground out by sophomore Nick Day.
The Spartans tacked on their fourth run in the top of the fifth, as Cam Gibson scored courtesy of an Iowa fielding error.
Iowa cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the eighth, scoring one run on three hits. The Hawkeyes placed runners on first and second base with two outs before Brand punched a single up the middle to score sophomore Jake Yacinich from second.
VanVossen was the pitcher of record for the Spartans, improving to 4-2 this year. The right-hander threw 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits.
Hanse took the loss for the Hawkeyes. The Marion, Iowa, native allowed three runs on four hits before leaving after taking a line drive his throwing arm.
Sophomores Eric Toole and Anthony Torres paced the Iowa offense with two hits apiece. It was Toole’s team-best 14th multi-hit game this season, while Torres posted his second multi-hit performance of the series.
Three Iowa batters recorded a hit-by-pitch, bringing the team season total to 89. The 89 hit-by-pitches establishes a new program record, breaking the old record of 86 set in 2008. Brand was one of the three Hawkeyes that got plunked, marking his 21st hit by pitch — a new school record, breaking Kevin Hoef’s 2008 record of 20.
The Hawkeyes will close out Big Ten and regular season play May 16-18 at Purdue. The three-game series will open with 6:00 p.m. (CT) games Thursday and Friday, before concluding with a noon (CT) match-up Saturday