Iowa baseball drops two of three at Indiana

The Hawkeyes’ series-deciding loss Sunday marked the team’s first losing weekend in over a month.


Kate Heston

Iowa’s Izaya Fullard runs during a baseball game in Iowa City between Iowa and Northwestern. The Hawks beat the Wildcats in a close game, 9-8.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

The Iowa baseball team’s five-week series winning streak came to an end Sunday with a 12-8 loss to the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington, Indiana.

The rubber-game defeat marked Iowa’s first weekend-losing record since the Nebraska Cornhuskers took two of three from Iowa at Duane Banks Field in late March. The Hawkeyes are now 19-13 on the season.

With the score tied at two apiece after three innings Sunday, the Hoosiers cashed in in a big way in the fourth frame.

Indiana catcher Collin Hopkins got things going with a one-out double before Iowa starter Cam Baumann struck out Hoosier shortstop James Espalin for the second out. The inning was far from over.

The home team sent six more batters to the plate before the side was retired, stringing together two singles, a triple and a two-run Cole Barr home run that made the score, 7-2.

All five of Indiana’s tallies after the fourth inning also came with two away. While the Hawkeyes did push at least one run across in each of the game’s final four innings, it wasn’t enough.

“Early if we could have got a two-out hit, it might have been a different story at the end,” head coach Rick Heller said in a release. “We had runners on and didn’t get the two-out hit. That’s the thing they did all day long, they kept getting two-out hits, especially in the fourth. Those were all with two outs when you think you’re going to get out of the inning, and they kept stringing them together. That was the story.”

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Heller’s team made a run late, counting three home runs, one each in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings to close what was a six-run gap to just two heading to the bottom of the eighth.

Hawkeye junior Trenton Wallace blasted a two-run shot in the sixth and junior Izaya Fullard and senior Ben Norman each went yard in the next two innings to make the score 9-7.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Hoosiers made the Hawkeye pitchers pay for the two walks they issued, adding another three runs and essentially putting the game on ice.

Iowa scored once in the ninth but couldn’t threaten the lead.

The Hawkeyes tallied 11 hits Sunday, but the Hoosiers countered with 16 of their own after totaling 14 knocks in a 12-6 win.

“It was disappointing to not pitch well,” Heller said in a release Sunday. “I thought our offense, against good arms, was as good as it has been all season this weekend. Today I was proud of the hitters, they kept battling and coming back. We kept beating ourselves and that’s unfortunate.”

On Friday, the Hawkeyes won, 6-5, behind seven strong innings from starting pitcher Trenton Wallace as he allowed three runs.

Fullard’s home run Sunday was one of three hits for the North Liberty native and his ninth multi-hit game in the last 12 contests.

Since mid-April, Fullard’s batting average has improved by over 100 points, rising from .214 to .319.

Fullard and the Hawkeyes take the field again May 7 when they host Penn State for the first of six straight home games. Iowa will host Illinois from May 14-16 after playing the Nittany Lions.

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