May 23, 2004
IOWA CITY – After a short ceremony to honor the senior class, the Hawkeyes used an efficient seven hits to plate seven runs to come away with a series split in the 7-3 win over Illinois on Sunday afternoon at Duane Banks Field. Iowa closes out the year with a 20-35 overall record. In the Big Ten, the Hawkeyes finished eighth in the standings with a 12-20 record.
On the hill for Iowa, senior Andrew Hansen pitched 7 1/3 innings with five strikeouts to pick up his second win of the season. The senior righthander retired the first ten batters he faced before allowing nine hits and three runs in the contest.
The Hawkeyes put a four spot on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 6-2 lead. L.J. Mims walked to leadoff the inning and Jason White reached on a throwing error by Chad Frk to put runners on second and third. Andy Lytle put Iowa up 4-2 when he laced a two-run single to left field. One batter later, Nate Yoho teed off on Illinois starter Dusty Bensko for a two-run shot, his fourth of the year.
The two teams traded runs in the eighth inning. In the top half of the frame, Illinois used two straight doubles by Chris Robinson and Eric Eymann to score its third run of the game. Iowa answered in the bottom half when Jesse Brownell hit a one-out triple to centerfield and scored on a Luis Andrulonis single to left to make the score 7-3.
Iowa gave Hansen an early lead in the second. After a Jeff Engel leadoff walk, Andrulonis moved the leftfielder to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Senior Mike Best followed with a single to centerfield to move Engel to third base. Mims tallied the first Hawkeye RBI of the day with a sacrifice fly to left field.
Iowa pushed its second run across the plate in the third. With one out and two runners on base, Nate Yoho extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single through the right side. On the play, Jim Reid was thrown out on the plate trying to score on an errant throw to third base.
The Fighting Illini evened the score at two by plating one run in the third and fourth innings. Ryan Rogowski hit a solo shot over the right field fence for the first hit and run for Illinois and Ryan Hastings tied the game up with an RBI single to centerfield.
Lytle and Yoho each collected two hits to lead the Hawkeyes at the plate. Yoho tallied three RBIs to push his season total to 48, while Lytle drove in a pair. Reid ended the season with a .317 average to win the batting crown for the second time in his career.