May 22, 2004
IOWA CITY – Iowa rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh, but left the bases loaded to end the game in the 8-6 loss to the Fighting Illini in the opening game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Duane Banks Field.
In the top of the seventh, left fielder Drew Davidson gave Illinois some insurance with a bases clearing double to left field. Iowa’s Jeff Engel charged in an attempt to make the play on the line drive, but the ball squirted underneath the leftfielder’s glove and rolled to the wall to give Davidson his sixth RBI of the game. Illinois loaded the bases for the second time in the inning off Iowa reliever Casey O’Rourke, but a 3-2-3 double play got the Hawkeye righthander out of the inning.
Iowa loaded the bases with nobody out in their final at-bat. After a Jim Reid strikeout, Nate Yoho hit a double into the right centerfield gap to clear the bases. Kris Welker got hit for a school record 17th time this season to put two runners on. After a strikeout for the second out, Engel got hit by a pitch to load the bases, but freshman reliever Brandon Murphy struck out Cole Grandfield to end the seven-inning affair.
In the second inning, the two teams traded runs for the first scoring of the contest. Davidson connected on a one-out solo shot in the top of the inning. In the bottom half, Iowa answered right back when Welker hit a leadoff double and crossed the plate on Engel’s RBI single up the middle.
The Fighting Illini put up a four spot in the top of the fourth to take a 5-1 lead. Eric Eyeman doubled to leadoff the inning and Davidson connected on a two-run shot, his second long ball of the game, over the left centerfield fence. Illinois used three hits to plate two more runs in the frame to chase Iowa starter Chris Maliszewski from the contest.
The Hawkeyes began chipping away at the four-run deficit in the bottom of the sixth. Yoho and Welker hit back-to-back singles before Jesse Brownell laced a RBI double that ricocheted off third baseman Chad Frk’s glove down the left field line. Fighting Illini starter Ted Rowe was relieved by reliever Andy Sigerich with nobody out and got out of the inning without any further damage.
Yoho, Welker and Luis Andrulonis each collected two hits on the day for Iowa. Yoho went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and one run scored. Yoho and Reid extended their hitting streaks to nine and eight games respectively.
After putting the tarp on the field, the second game was delayed due to light showers in Iowa City. The second game was scheduled to begin at approximately 5:30 p.m.