March 23, 2004
IOWA CITY – Propelled by three homeruns over the left field fence, Western Illinois spoiled Iowa’s home opener in the pouring rain with 4-2 victory at Duane Banks Field.
Leatherneck pitcher Patrick Kohorst scattered five hits over 8 1/3 innings to shut down the Iowa bats. The righthander allowed two earned runs, while striking out five Hawkeye batters.
Iowa jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the third inning on a RBI triple by shortstop Jeff Gremley.
With a strong wind blowing out to left field, Leatherneck left fielder Kyle Malan tied the game with a fourth inning homerun and catcher Jake Gloude belted a homerun to the same spot over the left field fence to put Western Illinois on top 2-1 in the fifth.
The Hawkeyes tied the game up in the sixth inning after catcher Kris Welker led off with a single up the middle. Playing small ball, Iowa sacrificed Welker to second base and the move worked, as first baseman Mike Best hit an RBI double to right centerfield.
Western Illinois added a run in the seventh and eighth innings. Center fielder Jake Gloude scored the fourth run on the third homerun of the day for the Leathernecks.
Iowa finally got to Kohorst in the ninth inning as the righthander walked the bases loaded. Nick Simmons came in the game with one out in the inning and struck out Kevin Sunderman swinging and forced L.J. Mims into a foul out to right field to end the game.
Nathan Johnson struck out three over five innings. Mims went 2-for-3 in the game, while Best and Gremley drove in their ninth runs of the season.
The Hawkeyes will play three games over the weekend at the Iowa Cubs/Hawkeye Classic in Des Moines, IA. Iowa begins the Classic with a date against Northern Colorado on Friday at 5 p.m. at Sec Taylor Stadium.