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Iowa baseball splits doubleheader with Rutgers

After a strong performance in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, the Hawkeyes couldn't close the series out with a sweep.

Iowa%27s+Zeb+Adreon+takes+a+strike+during+a+baseball+game+against+the+University+of+Illinois+on+Sunday%2C+Mar.+31%2C+2019.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Illini%2C+3-1.+
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Iowa baseball splits doubleheader with Rutgers

Iowa's Zeb Adreon takes a strike during a baseball game against the University of Illinois on Sunday, Mar. 31, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Illini, 3-1.

Iowa's Zeb Adreon takes a strike during a baseball game against the University of Illinois on Sunday, Mar. 31, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Illini, 3-1.

David Harmantas

Iowa's Zeb Adreon takes a strike during a baseball game against the University of Illinois on Sunday, Mar. 31, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Illini, 3-1.

David Harmantas

David Harmantas

Iowa's Zeb Adreon takes a strike during a baseball game against the University of Illinois on Sunday, Mar. 31, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Illini, 3-1.

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

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Before Iowa played a near four-hour game on the tail end of a doubleheader at Banks Field on Saturday, it picked up two solid wins over Rutgers.

After the Hawkeyes picked up a 9-5 victory to go up 2-0 in the series over the Scarlet Knights, Rutgers battled back for a dominant 15-3 victory to take a win before its long flight home.

Iowa entered the doubleheader on a four-game Big Ten winning streak after sweeping Illinois and toppling Rutgers in the series opener, 6-1, on Friday.

Both teams got off to a quick start in Game 1, each plating a run in the first inning. Then, Iowa took over.

The Hawkeyes rattled off 6 runs in the first six innings, including a 4-run sixth.

Entering the seventh facing a 7-1 deficit, Rutgers made things interesting. The Scarlet Knights used a home run, an RBI single, and a 2-RBI single to cut Iowa’s lead to 2. That’s as close as they would get though, as Iowa’s Zeb Adreon delivered a 2-RBI double to right-center field to give the Hawkeyes a couple insurance runs.

Adreon highlighted the day for Iowa, finishing 3-for-3 with a career-high 4 RBIs, a run scored, and a walk.

“I saw it pretty well today,” Adreon said. “They were mixing in a lot of breaking balls and changeups. Just got to stay discipline and look for something up. Fortunately, they left a few up over the plate, and I was able to drive in runs with that.”

Game 2 quickly proved to be a different story, though. After a solid outing from starter Cam Baumann in Game 1 in which he allowed 3 runs on 8 hits with 5 strikeouts in 6.1 innings, Grant Judkins couldn’t follow with a similar performance.

Judkins gave up 5 Scarlet Knight runs in the first inning – only 1 earned – and finished with 7 hits and 6 total runs with 2 punch outs and 2 walks in 5 innings of work.

It wasn’t a performance fans are used to seeing from the Pella native. He still leads the team with a 1.70 earned run average, but it just wasn’t there on Saturday.

“I just didn’t have my command like usual,” Judkins said. “I was all over the place. But they just came out and hit the ball in the last game.”

Iowa never led in the game. The bullpen failed to take over after Judkins’ outing, allowing a run in the sixth, 2 in the seventh, 5 in the eighth, and another in the ninth.

Despite the loss in the series finale, Iowa has still picked up a win in its last two Big Ten series, going 5-1 in those games.

With a road trip against Bradley and a conference series against Purdue coming up, there’s no time for the Hawkeyes to dwell on what has already happened. Instead, they need to focus on what’s ahead.

“In this league, every team that we play is really good,” Iowa head coach Rick Heller said. “There’s no easy games, there’s no weak teams; everybody is really good. If you don’t play your best – especially the type of team we have – this is always possible what you saw [Saturday night].”

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About the Writer
Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @PeteyRuden

Pete Ruden is the Sports Editor at the DI, where he has worked since the beginning of his college...

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