IOWA CITY – Illinois State scored an unearned run in the top of the seventh inning, sending it to a 3-2 victory over the University of Iowa baseball team on Tuesday night at Duane Banks Field.
The loss drops the Hawkeyes’ record to 26-15 overall heading into a three-game weekend series against Purdue.
With the score tied at two in the seventh, freshman Brody Brecht got two quick outs before issuing a walk to extend the inning. Illinois State’s JT Sokolove followed with an infield single on a softly hit ball to shortstop, and Michael Seegers errant throw scooted past Peyton Williams down the right field line, allowing Kayden Beauregard to score from first.
The Hawkeyes had traffic in the seventh courtesy of a Brett McCleary leadoff single, had runners on the corners with one out via a Keaton Anthony walk and Ben Wilmes single in the eighth and a Kyle Huckstorf hit by pitch in the ninth, but couldn’t come up with the big hit.
It was the story of the game as the Hawkeyes finished with just four hits against six Redbird pitchers. Kubiatowicz allowed one hit and fanned six over 3 1/3 innings to earn the victory.
“Their pitchers did a good job, but we were undisciplined on offense and chased a lot,” said head coach Rick Heller. “They had six walks in the first five innings, and we didn’t make them pay. We did score but didn’t get the hit to break it open. We needed to be able to do that in the early innings and didn’t get it done.”
Iowa’s pitching staff was strong, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits and fanning 13 over nine innings. Brecht (1-3) suffered the loss, giving up one unearned run on two hits and striking out for over two innings.
“Our pitching staff did a great job against a good offensive team,” said Heller. “If you would have told me we would hold them to three, I would have thought we’d be in good shape and would have got a win.
“Duncan gave up two, but unfortunately the winning run scores on a ball we have to be able to knock down at first base. That can’t happen. That was the only miscue of the game, defensively, but it was costly.”
The Hawkeyes grabbed the 1-0 lead in the first without a hit. Seegers and Williams drew back-to-back walks to leadoff the inning, moved into scoring position on a double steal and Seegers scored on a wild pitch.
Illinois State took the lead with a two-run third. The Redbirds had their first two base runners reach to start the frame via a single and hit by pitch. With one out, Greg Nichols roped a two-run double into the left center field gap to make the score 2-1.
The Hawkeyes tied the game in the bottom half on Anthony’s RBI double to left field – his 18th of the season. Seegers scored the tying run after drawing a leadoff walk to open the inning.
This is Iowa’s first midweek loss since March 1 against Loras College.
The Hawkeyes finished with four hits for the second time in three games.
Iowa’s pitching staff had 13 strikeouts – the most in a game since April 15.
The Hawkeyes will host Purdue for a three-game series from Friday through Sunday at Duane Banks Field. Start times for Friday and Saturday’s games have been changed to 4:05 p.m. (CT) and 11 a.m., respectively.