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Iowa baseball loses Game 3, series to Michigan State

The Hawkeyes fell when they needed a series victory, but one more series against Maryland remains on the schedule.

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Iowa baseball loses Game 3, series to Michigan State

Michigan State infielder Marty Bechina throws the ball to infielder Royce Ando during the baseball game against Michigan State at Duane Banks Field on Saturday, May 11, 2019. The Spartans defeated the Hawkeyes 9-4.

Michigan State infielder Marty Bechina throws the ball to infielder Royce Ando during the baseball game against Michigan State at Duane Banks Field on Saturday, May 11, 2019. The Spartans defeated the Hawkeyes 9-4.

Katina Zentz

Michigan State infielder Marty Bechina throws the ball to infielder Royce Ando during the baseball game against Michigan State at Duane Banks Field on Saturday, May 11, 2019. The Spartans defeated the Hawkeyes 9-4.

Katina Zentz

Katina Zentz

Michigan State infielder Marty Bechina throws the ball to infielder Royce Ando during the baseball game against Michigan State at Duane Banks Field on Saturday, May 11, 2019. The Spartans defeated the Hawkeyes 9-4.

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

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In a weekend where a series win was important for the Hawkeyes, Iowa baseball fell to Michigan State in Sunday’s rubber match, 7-5, to drop the series against the Spartans.

Iowa Sunday starter Grant Judkins put the Hawkeyes in a position to win early, but the Hawkeyes couldn’t follow through.

Judkins allowed just 1 earned run on 5 hits in six innings of work, and Iowa took advantage of the stellar pitching by building a 4-1 lead by the end of the fifth inning.

But things went downhill fast.

Trace Hoffman entered in the seventh inning and delivered his roughest outing of the season. The junior from Cascade, Iowa, gave up 5 earned runs on 3 hits in just 0.2 innings on the bump.

Michigan State opened the floodgates with an RBI single from Bryce Kelley when there were already two outs. Infielder Marty Bechina kept the rally going with a bases clearing 3-RBI double, and Royce Ando added another run with a single to right.

“I liked how we came out and played,” Iowa head coach Rick Heller said in a release. “We got a great start out of Judkins. Our offense was solid and had good at-bats. We had everything where we wanted it to be with our guys in place. It didn’t get done today.”

Iowa still found life in the ninth inning, but the Spartans refused to give up their lead.

In his return to the lineup, second baseman Mitchell Boe doubled to left with one out and scored on a throwing error shortly after.

The Hawkeyes couldn’t bring the tying run in from second, however, ending Iowa’s Senior Day with a tough loss.

“You could feel the momentum,” Heller said. “We had chances and didn’t quit. We got the tying run to second and didn’t get the hit. It’s a tough way to lose. We didn’t play poorly or anything. We ran into a team that’s playing super-hot right now.”

The loss snapped Iowa’s six-series winning streak, which was its longest since 2015. Now, the Hawkeyes have one more Big Ten series against Maryland remaining on the docket.

“This group won’t go out and lay down or anything like that,” Heller said. “They’ll come back and fight this week.”

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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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