The Hawkeye baseball team dropped two of three games May 6-Sunday against Ohio State in Columbus, severely, if not fatally, damaging their hopes of qualifying for the Big Ten Tournament.
Iowa (22-23, 8-10 Big Ten) was shut out on offense in both losses, including a 3-0 defeat in the series finale on Sunday.
The finale featured a first inning in which Ohio State scored all 3 of its runs. Hawkeye starting pitcher Nick Gallagher gave up 2 walks to lead off the game, followed by a 2-run Buckeye double.
An RBI single to plate the third run of the game followed the double. That was all the Buckeyes needed.
Gallagher suffered the loss (6-3), with Buckeye starter Seth Kinker grabbing his fifth win of the season.
Despite the loss, the Hawkeyes outhit Ohio State 10-6, led by senior pitcher and first baseman Tyler Peyton. Peyton continued a recent hot streak, turning in a 3-for-5 performance Sunday afternoon.
The series kicked off May 6 with another Buckeye shutout victory, 6-0. The offensive struggles that have plagued the Hawks in many recent contests appeared again, and they logged only 5 hits.
Ohio State starting pitcher Tanner Tully shut down the Hawks, picking up his sixth win of the season.
“[Tully] was good tonight. He located, and we didn’t do too much with him,” Iowa head coach Rick Heller said in a release after the series-opening defeat. “Our offense wasn’t very good, and Tully was really good. That’s a bad combination.”
Hawkeye Friday starter C.J. Eldred picked up the loss, dropping his record to 2-7 on the year. Eldred went 4 innings, allowing 5 earned runs on 9 hits, striking out 1. Jared Mandel relieved, going 4 innings with just 2 hits, an earned run, and 3 strikeouts.
May 7 was no doubt the high point for the Hawkeyes. Iowa cruised to a 12-0 win, courtesy of a season-high 20 hits.
“We came out swinging the bats early and kept it going the entire game,” Heller said in a release after the win. “We scattered hits up and down the lineup. You couldn’t ask for a better day, and we were solid defensively, too.”
Senior outfielder Joel Booker led the way for Iowa at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double, 4 RBIs, and 2 runs scored. Infielder Mason McCoy was also solid offensively, going 3-for-6 with a double, 2 RBIs, and a run.
Peyton was dominant on the mound for the Hawkeyes, throwing 7 innings of 2-hit ball, striking out 3. Peyton didn’t allow a hit until the game’s fifth inning.
“[Peyton] was outstanding both on the mound and at the plate,” Heller said in a release. “He didn’t have his best fastball, but he was able to locate all three of his pitches. He did a great job with his off-speed pitches and was able to keep Ohio State off-stride. He was fantastic.”
Nick Allgeyer closed out the win with 2 innings of no-hit ball, striking out 3.
The Hawkeyes will finish their home schedule with a three-game weekend series against Michigan State beginning on Friday. First pitch for the series opener at Banks Field is set for 6:05 p.m.