Iowa baseball falls to Illinois, drops weekend series

The Hawkeye bullpen gave up five runs on one hit in the ninth inning on Sunday afternoon to seal a 9-5 defeat.


Grace Smith

Iowa huddles up during the second baseball game of a doubleheader between Iowa and Illinois at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City on Saturday, April 9, 2022. Illinois and Iowa went into extra innings after a tie in the 9th inning. The Fighting Illini defeated the Hawkeyes in 13 innings, 7-5.

Jake Olson, Sports Reporter

The Iowa baseball team dropped its Sunday finale against Illinois, 9-5, to lose the weekend series at Duane Banks Field. The Hawkeyes split a Saturday doubleheader with the Illini.

On a windy Sunday afternoon, the Hawkeyes got off to a hot start, tacking two solo home runs on Illinois pitcher Riley Gowens in the second and third innings.

Hawkeye catcher Ben Tallman hit his first home run of the 2022 season, while first baseman Peyton Williams smashed his seventh.

Iowa starting pitcher Ty Langenberg gave the Hawkeyes five clean innings before allowing four runs between the sixth and the seventh. Langenberg left the game after giving up a home run at the beginning of the seventh inning.

“I thought Langenberg gave us a chance,” head coach Rick Heller said. “I thought, going into the sixth, it was one of those games where he would go the complete game because he was sharp enough early. On a day where the winds were blowing out, I thought he was doing a great job.”

After a late deficit in the seventh, the Hawkeyes tied the game with a pair of RBIs from Williams and freshman Keaton Anthony.

“How we fought back and tied it, it looked like one of those days where we could get to the bottom of the ninth and walk it off,” Heller said.

But instead of clinching a walkoff victory, the Hawkeyes gave up five runs in the bottom of the ninth on just one hit. The Iowa bullpen struggled to find the strike zone as it allowed three runs off of hit by pitches and walks.

“We took a big step back in our bullpen,” Heller said. “We went to the guys that were on the board after yesterday and they couldn’t get it done.”

Big Picture

The Hawkeyes ended the weekend series with a 16-12 overall record, including a 3-3 Big Ten mark.

Coming off a series win against Michigan in Ann Arbor, Iowa lost its first conference series of the season to Illinois.

Up Next

The Hawkeyes play a Tuesday midweek game at Milwaukee before returning to Duane Banks Field to face Minnesota in a three-game series. 

Minnesota sits at 9-20 in the season and earned its first Big Ten victory over Maryland on Sunday afternoon. 

First pitch for the Hawkeyes and Golden Gophers is at 7:02 p.m. on Friday night.