Hawkeyes trounced by Huskers in second game of Big Ten Tournament

A rough pitching performance gave Nebraska a run-rule victory over Iowa in its second game of the Big Ten Tournament.

Iowa%27s+Grant+Judkins+looks+back+towards+third+base+during+a+baseball+game+against+the+University+of+Illinois+on+Sunday%2C+Mar.+31%2C+2019.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Illini+3-1.+
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Hawkeyes trounced by Huskers in second game of Big Ten Tournament

Iowa's Grant Judkins looks back towards third base during a baseball game against the University of Illinois on Sunday, Mar. 31, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Illini 3-1.

Iowa's Grant Judkins looks back towards third base 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 Grant Judkins looks back towards third base 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 Grant Judkins looks back towards third base 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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After a 4-2 win over No. 1 seed Indiana on Wednesday, Iowa found itself poised for a run through the Big Ten Tournament field. Until Nebraska came along.

The Huskers pounded the Hawkeyes, 11-1, for a run-rule win on Friday, leaving Iowa with an elimination matchup against Minnesota at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

Hawkeye starter Grant Judkins entered Friday’s game against Nebraska with a sparkling 2.32 ERA. He left the game against the Huskers with that mark bloated to 2.72.

Judkins struggled to find his command early, lasting only 1.1 innings and giving up 4 earned runs on 5 hits and 2 walks.

The Hawkeyes opened the game by taking a 1-0 lead off a Mitchell Boe single in the second inning, giving Judkins a small cushion. But the Huskers put up a 4-spot in the bottom half of the frame, chasing Judkins from the game just one out in.

Judkins worked a full count seven times in his stint on the mound, but Nebraska cashed in for 4 base knocks and 2 walks on those occasions.

“Grant didn’t have a great start,” Iowa head coach Rick Heller said in a release. “He was struggling to throw strikes with all of his pitches. I was hoping he could fight threw it. We fell behind early and didn’t do too much after that.”

Shortly into the second inning, Judkins’ pitch count hit the 50-pitch mark, forcing Heller to reach into the bullpen.

It didn’t help much.

Jason Foster entered in relief, conceding a run on 2 hits and 2 walks in 1.2 innings before Adam Ketelson gave up 4 more in another 1.2 innings. Drew Irvine and Trace Hoffman rode the game out, each allowing a run in a combined 2.2 frames on the bump.

“We were sloppy on the mound and Nebraska played clean baseball,” Heller said in a release. “It was a tough loss.”

The Hawkeye offense didn’t help much, either.

After Boe plated Brendan Sher for Iowa’s lone run in the second, Chris Whelan flew out with the bases loaded. Iowa only mustered 4 hits the rest of the way.

Now, Iowa has a quick turnaround with an elimination game against No. 4 seed Minnesota coming up at 7:30 p.m.

“It starts on the mound. We need a quality start out of Cam Baumann,” Heller said in a release. “We’re playing for our lives, so hopefully Cam will step for us like Cole [McDonald] did in Game 1. Our bullpen’s still in good shape. Minnesota is swinging the bat well. If we pitch, it will be a good game, and we’ll have a chance to win.”

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