Iowa baseball falls late to Northwestern

The Hawkeyes’ comeback efforts in the ninth inning fell short as Iowa lost, 5-4, to the Wildcats.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa starting pitcher Cam Baumann throws a pitch during a baseball game between Iowa and Northwestern on Sunday, April 25, 2021 at Duane Banks Field. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wildcats 15-4.

Isaac Goffin, Sports Reporter

EVANSTON, Ill. — A late-inning rally from the Wildcats proved to be too much for Iowa baseball, as the Hawkeyes lost to Northwestern Saturday afternoon, 5-4.

The Hawkeyes couldn’t recover from the eighth inning two-run blow, and dropped their season record to 23-17.

Hawkeye starting pitcher Cam Baumann threw through seven innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out five. Iowa two-way player Dylan Nedved replaced Baumann, switching from second base to the mound for the eighth frame.

After Nedved collected two outs in the eighth inning, Northwestern started its game-winning rally.

In the bottom of the eighth, Wildcat shortstop Sean Goosenberg hit a single and stole second. With Goosenberg in scoring position, designated hitter Stephen Hrustich notched an RBI single and advanced to second on the throw to home plate. After Hrustich stole third, he scored on an RBI single from Wildcat catcher Michael Trautwein.

Nedved exited the inning with two earned runs and took his first loss of the season.

“They just found some holes,” head coach Rick Heller said postgame.

In the top of the ninth inning, the Hawkeyes’ comeback attempt fell short. With runners on first and third base and one out, second baseman Izaya Fullard collected an RBI on a fielder’s choice.

First baseman Peyton Williams came up to the plate in the ninth with two outs and two runners on the basepaths, working his way to a full count against Northwestern’s closer Sam Lawrence. But Williams struck out swinging to end the game. In total, the Hawkeyes left eight runners on base in Saturday’s loss.

“Just had some bad at-bats at the wrong time,” Heller said. “Some bad luck. [Northwestern] made some really nice plays, even in the ninth inning when the left fielder makes a diving play on the leadoff runner, completely changes the inning if that ball gets down. We weren’t great offensively, especially with that first and third situation with one out and then we hit into that double play ball, and that really hurt.”

After falling behind 3-0 early in the game, the Hawkeyes got on the board in the fourth inning. Third baseman Matthew Sosa collected a one-out RBI single, and Nedved hit a sacrifice fly for the second out, scoring left fielder Trenton Wallace.

The Hawkeyes tied the game in the seventh when Williams notched an RBI single.

Baumann gave up all three of his runs in the first frame, as he worked the bases loaded and gave up a bases-clearing double. Through his next six innings pitched, Baumann only gave up one hit.

“They came out hot,” Heller said. “He had some pitches up in the zone and got off to a rough start, but he really settled in and pitched fantastic after that. Definitely gave us a chance to win.”

The Hawkeyes won the series opener Friday, and the Wildcats’ victory Saturday ties the weekend series. Sunday’s contest at Rocky and Bernice Miller Park in Evanston will serve as the tiebreaker — first pitch comes at noon and the game will be streamed on BTN+.

“We’ll give it a good effort tomorrow,” Heller said. “Senior day today, and the Northwestern guys showed up and they played, and unfortunately we just didn’t get it done. I don’t feel like we played bad, just got beat today.”

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